National Ranking: Davis ranked No. 189 overall on Scout and No. 11 among quarterbacks. Both Rivals and 247 rated Davis in the three-star realm.
Irish Illustrated Rank: Davis slotted at No. 13 among our Irish Illustrated staff. He cracked the Top 10 with one of our analysts but also dropped down to No. 18 with another.
Likelihood of Freshman Redshirt: High
2017 Path To Playing Time
There isn’t one for Davis, not after Ian Book’s strong spring practice earned him the No. 2 job entering training camp behind Brandon Wimbush. Remember that every Kelly-era quarterback has taken a red-shirt expect for Tommy Rees (2010) and Wimbush (2015). But Wimbush played only mop-up minutes due to Malik Zaire’s broken ankle. He then took a red shirt as a sophomore. Davis can get this out of the way now, learning Chip Long’s offense in the background while getting ready for a turn that’s probably two years down the road, minimum. A Scout Team Player of the Year award on offense would be a decent freshman season for Davis. There’s just not an opportunity to play.
We could guess, but so much depends on forces beyond the control of Davis. What if Brandon Wimbush stays for the next three years? What if Wimbush wins the Heisman Trophy this fall and turns pro? What if Ian Book transfers? What if Phil Jurkovec enrolls early? Or what if he de-commits? You get the point. But if we had to guess, Wimbush plays his junior and senior seasons before leaving Notre Dame and opening up a two-man quarterback competition between Book and Davis with Jurkovec running third. But history indicates that Notre Dame’s transition plan beyond Wimbush won’t be quite that tidy.
Notre Dame has signed an undersized dual threat quarterback with gaudy statistics and state championship experience before. But the last time the Irish did that they went to South Carolina for Everett Golson. Both even suffered injuries during their senior seasons that limited production. It’s hard to imagine their careers sticking to a parallel path during the next four years (Golson did take a red shirt and Davis should too), but in terms of what the Irish got in Davis, it’s similar to what Notre Dame got in Golson six years ago. All the drama aside, that’s a big compliment to the incoming freshman quarterback.
“Very tough, very accurate, very explosive player. A dual threat quarterback that can do a lot of good things. With all his athletic attributes, I think he’s a great leader. Touches everybody in his school. Everybody looks up to him. He’s a downright winner and a competitor.” – offensive coordinator Chip Long.