As signing day has come and gone, most fans are sitting down, analyzing this class of commits and projecting or even fantasizing about who can make the earliest impact and to what degree this group will effect the team as a whole. Much can be said for Florida State and Nebraska fans, but they are still waiting on one player to make his choice on which college suits him best. Buster Davis, one of the best linebackers in the country has yet to make a decision and Nole fans along with Husker fans await with bated breathe.
Buster Davis stood as one of the "elite" throughout the recruiting process. Schools anywhere from Ohio State and Florida State to Nebraska recruited this standout because he is just that. As a junior, he wowed the experts and the competition recording 156 tackles, 6 sacks, 28 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles. This season despite all the double-teams, Buster tallied up 172 tackles, 21 for losses and 7 ½ sacks. Impressive to say the least.
There is no mystery as to his foreseeable value to a team. Buster's athleticism and tenacity have made him not just a commodity, but a "must get" in some eyes. With all that hype and all those gaudy numbers, a time where people move on to other things like basketball, baseball or whatever depending on their school, people still sit transfixed by the impending day where Davis makes his announcement.
Talking to Buster about this whole process as it has evolved, he still has regarded it as worthwhile, but the time has come where he wants the high school process to end and the collegiate process to begin. "It's been fun", Buster said in regards to the attention, "but, it's been kind of rough lately." Davis pointing to the still-heavy volume of calls, he insists however on not wavering on his resolve to make his decision on how he feels and not succumbing to the endless pressure from local and national media to say where he is going one way or another. "I'm going to go where I feel the most comfortable, but I haven't decided where that is yet."
Between Nebraska and Florida State, Buster has weighed his options heavily, but maintains that there are only three things that matter when it comes to deciding where he goes. "These two schools have three things", Buster stated. "For one, they win national championships, for two, you get the chance to play at the next level in pro ball or at least a better chance and for three, to have a place that I can come home to instead of coming back to Daytona Beach. I want to be at a place that feels like a second home."
Buster reiterated his belief in these factors with stating also that this criteria aren't just his desires, but most kids coming out of high school. "There are guys that go to play college football period, especially in Division 1-A", Davis said."Those guys want to play for a national championship, want to get a chance to go to the pros and want to have someplace they can come back and call it home away from home. Getting a great education is also important, but those things are the things you want to do and if you can't get those, I don't think that is the school for you. I think those two schools (Florida State and Nebraska) suit me very well in that".
What makes an individual the player that he is, that has schools like NU and FSU coveting and even waiting far beyond signing day for his decision? Ability is an obvious factor as well as speed, feet, hands and the instincts for the game. Intensity would also be considered a valued criteria because it dictates not how they play the game, but "how". Buster makes no apologies for his style of play as he idolizes such names as Ray Lewis of the Ravens, Jack Hamm of the old Oakland Raiders, Jack Lambert of the Steelers and the one and only Dick Butkus. When a player utters those names in trying to describe his style, not much more need be said, but Buster detailed his way of doing things. "I'm not going to play around with you", Buster stated. "If one of those full backs that are like 6'3" and 240 that think they are all high and mighty come at ya, you just throw them on their back once. After the game, that's when they become your best friend and then, that's when you tell them to go to hell."
That attitude is dangerous, but mostly just to the competition. Buster's mentality spans from stuffing the run to jumping back in pass coverage because it gives him that same opportunity to make another painful statement. "I love it when they come over the middle", Davis said. "I want them to run a dig or something 15 yards in my way, that way I get to put someone on their back or just bust them in the mouth."
Davis certainly appears to emulate some of the greats in not just his ferocity, but his play. Though one shouldn't be hasty about putting prep-athletes in the same breathe as they do players like Butkus, Lambert and Lewis, Buster Davis knows what he does on the field matters, but he doesn't relent from comparing himself to one of the best right now. "I think he (Ray Lewis) and I are out of the same mold", Buster stated. "He's athletic, not real big and he's mean."
Though Davis certainly isn't one of the greats right now, his measurables, his mentality and his motivation take him in the direction to get there and all this adds up to where we are right now; a group made up of two schools and their fans along with a hungry group of experts anxiously awaiting that time when he decides on which of the two schools (Florida State or Nebraska) can start planning where and when Davis fits in.
Davis said that when he does decide, it will most likely be from his home, but he reiterated that he's not going to make that choice until he's ready. "I want to get it over this week, but whenever God puts it into my heart to make a decision, that's when he will let me know."
Whether it be tomorrow, this week or even on April 1st, most schools may have moved on, but there are two along with their avid followers that are waiting and will wait. And so shall we.