Winning a starting job at Notre Dame might take Avery Davis some time.
Davis, who committed to Notre Dame on Saturday during a Junior Day visit, will eventually walk into a loaded quarterback room in South Bend. Malik Zaire, DeShone Kizer and Brandon Wimbush started spring practice with multiple years of eligibility remaining. Ian Book will join that stable this summer as a true freshman.
Yet Davis didn’t blink at the numbers game in South Bend. Instead, he embraced it. That’s indicative of everything Cedar Hill High School head coach Joey McGuire has seen in working with Davis over the last few years.
“He’s a very intelligent young man,” McGuire said. “He’s kinda got a quiet leadership and a demeanor about him that would fit. He’s a fierce competitor. I would never doubt his competitiveness. He’s gonna go out there and take care of business. He’s not gonna talk about it. I just think he creates an air to the game that’s gonna be really good for him and for Notre Dame.”
Davis is also no stranger to the spotlight and scrutiny that will come with being a Notre Dame quarterback.
As a sophomore, he helped Cedar Hill win its second straight Class 6A Division II state title as a change-of-pace quarterback option. He lined up in front of more than 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas in the state championship game against Katy.
McGuire turned to Davis as the full-time starter last season. He threw for 2,148 yards and 25 touchdowns against just four interceptions while completing 65 percent of his attempts. Davis also led the team in rushing with 873 yards and another 13 touchdowns.
Notre Dame will offer brighter lights, but Davis has embraced those situations on a smaller stage.
“There’s a lot of different kids that aren’t coming from that situation,” McGuire said. “I think he’s got an advantage to where he’s gonna be playing, his first game his senior year is gonna be on ESPN. They’re gonna line up and play against DeSoto during Week 1 of district and there’s gonna be 15,000 or 16,000 people there. There’s gonna be anywhere between 20 to 35 Division I football players that are gonna step on the field.
“He’s gonna be used to that. But we’re also talking about playing at Notre Dame and playing in front of those crowds and the history there. It’s different but it’s similar from the standpoint of where he is right now in his life.”
Now with recruiting aside, McGuire is eager to see how Davis grows during the next several months as the steps begin toward enrolling at Notre Dame.
Cedar Hill starts spring practice May 2. So begins its preparation for a Week 1 matchup with Bishop Gorman, a national powerhouse in Las Vegas with dozens of college prospects. That’s the alma mater of former Irish tackle Ronnie Stanley as well as tight end Alize Jones and safety Nicco Fertitta.
McGuire isn’t worried about Davis from a physical perspective.
It’s leadership McGuire seeks.
“Sometimes he doesn’t understand the power he has from the standpoint of the respect he has on the team,” McGuire said. “He knows that the guys respect him. We just started our leadership training … What I wanna see from him is using that influence to be a little bit more vocal with the entire team, not just the offensive side of the ball. Challenging the offense, defense and special teams in the right way, that’s what I wanna see from him this spring. That’s what we’re really working on.”
Going through another season with McGuire will prepare Davis better than most high school quarterbacks.
Cedar Hill boasts several top college prospects. Davis throws to a trio of four-star wide receivers: Charleston Rambo, Camron Buckley and Jaylon Jackson. He hands off to four-star running back Kaegun Williams. And that doesn’t even include linebackers Dimitri Moore and Deven Lamp, both standouts in their own right.
Throw in a challenging schedule and Davis will be tested plenty before arriving in South Bend.
“Avery is a kid whose teammates rally around him,” said Scout.com analyst Gabe Brooks. “He’s not an overbearing, in-your-face type of leader. More of a lead-by-example, quiet confidence lead dog so to speak. We cannot emphasize enough how good of high school competition Avery faces both in practice and in season against his opponents. Cedar Hill is one of, if not the most, talent-laden programs in the state of Texas.”