What the Avery Davis pledge means

With Avery Davis on board, here’s how Notre Dame’s quarterback needs shape up moving forward. Are the Irish done at this position?

WHAT NOTRE DAME HAS

Notre Dame can now claim a quarterback in the Class of 2017 after landing four-star Avery Davis of Cedar Hill, Texas.

Davis is a dual-threat that ranks as the nation’s No. 12 quarterback on Scout.com despite his undersized build at 6-foot, 180 pounds. His accuracy, running ability and experience leading a 6A program in Texas highlight his assets. Staying patient in the pocket is an area that needs work.   

Davis committed to Notre Dame over offers from Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Oregon State, Purdue, SMU, Texas Tech and Virginia.

The Irish offered Davis in November after quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford saw him multiple times in-person. Davis took his first visit to campus for the Wake Forest game in mid-November and returned this weekend for Notre Dame’s second Junior Day of the year.  

WHY IT MATTERS

Davis materialized as Sanford’s top prospect following Hunter Johnson’s decision to commit to Tennessee, which was followed by a flip to Clemson. The staff was confident it would ultimately land Davis after his first visit in mid-November, although Notre Dame thought this recruitment would be wrapped up long before now.

Despite the pressure to land a quarterback early, Notre Dame and Sanford did their due diligence in establishing trust with Davis and building a relationship without panicking and tossing out multiple other quarterback offers.

It wasn’t until mid-February that Notre Dame offered a third quarterback in the class. And the staff would have taken Hendon Hooker if he wanted to commit during his visit in early March.

If Davis has another convincing year as a quarterback in the largest division in Texas, Notre Dame should feel strong about its future signal-caller and the ability of Davis to develop into a starter in South Bend. 

WHAT NOTRE DAME WANTS

Notre Dame would be content signing one quarterback in 2017, though a committable offer is still on the table to Hooker.

Hooker visited Notre Dame for the first time with his parents last week. A commitment was possible heading into the visit, but Hooker departed South Bend wanting to visit Virginia Tech before mulling his options and reaching a decision.

Hooker also holds offers from Clemson, Missouri, Indiana, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

It would be a surprise if Hooker landed at Notre Dame.

LOOKING AHEAD

Notre Dame could have five scholarship quarterbacks this season if you include former walk-on Montgomery VanGorder in that mix.

Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that Malik Zaire, DeShone Kizer and Brandon Wimbush will compete for the starting job this spring. He called his collection of talent at the position “an embarrassment of riches” and did not reject the notion of employing a multiple quarterback system in the fall.

“I couldn't dismiss that at hand,” Kelly said. “I just would be less than honest to sit here in front of you and tell you there's definitely going to be a No. 1.”

Zaire has two years of eligibility remaining, although he’s on track to graduate after the fall semester. That would open the door for a graduate transfer if he doesn’t win the starting job back from Kizer, who has three years of eligibility remaining. Wimbush also has three years, although he could red shirt as a sophomore after Kelly has gone back and forth on that issue. Ian Book enrolls this summer.


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