It’s been quite a senior season for Lakewood (St. Petersburg, Fla.) athlete Ryan Davis, who plays quarterback at the high school level. The 5-foot-9.5, 175-pound three-star has led his squad to a district championship and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs after throwing for 1,477 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with 965 rushing yards and 11 more scores.
“You know, it’s been a great season so far, really great,” said Davis, who is mainly being recruited as a receiver. “I’ve personally been playing well, and I feel like I’m on top of my game. At the same time, there’s things I can do better; I’m never totally satisfied with where I’m at.”
Davis said at least two of his 30-plus suitors will give him a chance to play quarterback, Arizona and Iowa State, but the rest want him lining up out wide. Maryland, which just ramped up its pursuit in early November, fits into the latter group.
Terps’ St. Petersburg area recruiter Mike Locksley has been in touch with Davis via social media for months, but Nov. 3, during Maryland’s bye week, he trekked down to Lakewood High. Davis wasn’t allowed to speak to Locksley personally per NCAA rules, but the primetime athlete said UMD’s offensive coordinator spoke to his coaches extensively.
“It was great seeing Coach Locksley down here, and whenever we talk it’s always a good time. We have a great relationship, and I know him and my coaches had a real good time talking when he was down here,” Davis said. “They were really connecting and everything, so it was cool to see him down here.”
Davis officially visited College Park, Md., back on Sept. 12 for the UMD-West Virginia game, and before that he attended an elite prospect camp June 28 inside Byrd Stadium. He said his father would like to see Maryland as well, and the two are still planning to fly up to College Park on their own dime after Lakewood’s season ends.
“I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be, but we definitely want to get back up to Maryland,” Davis said. “My dad has talked to Coach Locksley before, and they really were communicating well, so I think he [his father] wants to go see the school at some point."
Besides his relationship with Locksley, there’s plenty Davis likes about UMD. During his two trips north, he said he loved the campus and its proximity to Washington, D.C. He said he thinks head coach Randy Edsall is a good man, and has the program moving in the right direction too.
Moreover, Davis enjoyed working with receivers’ coach Keenan McCardell at the June camp, noting how “he can teach me a whole lot of things. He was in the NFL for like 17 years, and he knows so much about the position and can really help me.”
Davis is also well aware that Maryland’s top two receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, are likely NFL bound after this year, which leaves a void at the wideout position.
“There’s definitely an opportunity to play right away at Maryland, and that’s something that stands out to me,” Davis said. “Coach Locksley, he was saying how I wouldn’t need to redshirt or anything – I could come right in there and play. I could come in and play the same role Stefon is now, and Coach Locksley envisions me as that type of player.
“I like how Maryland gets the ball to their receivers and lets them make plays. I can see that when I watch them on TV. So I feel like I could go up there and make an impact.”
Speaking of watching the Terps on TV, Davis just saw Maryland knock off Penn State Nov. 1, 20-19. He said UMD did a great job in a tough environment, and came away with a gutsy victory.
“I didn’t get to watch the whole thing, but I loved what I saw. Maryland really played them tough,” Davis said. “It was cool and a lot of fun to see them win at Penn State. I like what [Maryland] is doing up there.”
Even so, it seemed like Maryland was fading from contention for Davis’ services in the last couple months. Florida and Florida State were considered the clear leaders – and still may be after it’s all said and done – with Kentucky and Ole Miss gaining traction as well. But Davis said it only seemed like that, because no one had really asked him about Maryland sine his official visit.
“Maryland is still right there for me; they’re high on my list and always have been,” Davis said. “I can’t put a number on them yet, because I want to give everyone a fair shot, but they’re right there. They’re coming hard for me, and after the season I’ll have to break it all down.”
That said, the Lakewood prospect has visited hometown Florida and Florida State a total of six times since August (four at the former, two at the latter). He could return to Gainesville and/or Tallahassee once again this fall, before taking officials to both. He refused to use the word “leader,” but it’s clear both Sunshine State programs have caught his eye.
“Florida is a place that I’m familiar with, and I feel like I can be a playmaker there. They need playmakers,” Davis said. “The coaching situation [with Will Muschamp] really doesn’t bother me, because at the end of the day you go to the school for the school, and not just the coach. But I most definitely want to know who the next coach would be if [Muschamp] isn’t there. I’d want to know how they felt about me and if they still wanted me.”
Davis then offered up a few comments about FSU.
“Florida State, the program speaks for itself. They’re a national contender,” Davis said. “I love the environment there, I love the coaches, and they let their true freshmen make plays and give them a chance to shine. There’s plenty of opportunity there as well.”
The three-star athlete then reiterated that he has no clear No. 1, and that he’s considering about six or seven schools that all sit on an even plane. Those include UMD, FSU, UF, Arizona, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Texas Tech, though the vibe is the Seminoles, Gators, Terps and Wildcats are probably the frontrunners.
“Everyone is going to get a chance,” Davis said. “Everyone is going to get a fair shot.”
Davis originally wanted to make a commitment sooner rather than later, but right now he’s thinking he won’t pick his school until late January.
Locksley Visits Lakewood; Davis High On Terps
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