Notre Dame has done a tremendous job of recruiting on the defensive side of the ball this year and they would like to keep the momentum moving forward next year. One of the top rising junior linebackers on the West Coast is John Michael Davis (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) and he's already on Notre Dame's radar.
"I've received some questionnaires and some letters from Notre Dame," Davis responded when asked if Notre Dame had been in contact with him. "My first letter was actually from Notre Dame. I was really excited for it, because my whole life I've really wanted to play football for a big school. My first thought was that I'm happy to be blessed [with my ability].
"I'm very interested in Notre Dame. It's a very good school. I'd be very happy to go there. I don't have any connection, but it would be cool to go there. I know one player that goes there though, Anthony Vernaglia. I met him once. I used to go to Orange Lutheran my freshman year, but then transferred to Santa Margarita."
Although Notre Dame is on Davis early, they will need to stay in contact with him. John Michael is aware of the Notre Dame program, but he grew up cheering for their northern rival.
"I'm not real familiar with [Notre Dame's] style of play, but I've watched them a couple of times," Davis explained. "I like college football a lot. I grew up rooting for Michigan, but I'd be happy to go anywhere right now. I want to find the best place for me and where I fit in."
"I've been receiving letters and questionnaires from Florida, LSU, Tennessee, UNLV, UCLA, a bunch of schools really. It's pretty exciting."
In the past Davis has roamed the secondary. Last season he registered over 70 tackles and four interceptions from his safety position. Next season he'll find himself several steps closer to the line of scrimmage.
"My freshman year I played corner, because I was kind of small for varsity," Davis said. "I got a little bigger, so they moved me to safety, and now I'm 220 pounds, so I'm playing outside linebacker.
"I like hitting people. I think I bring speed to the linebacker position that most people don't have. I think I have good coverage ability and I think I can still hit people like bigger linebackers do."
The attention that Davis is receiving in part is due to his production on the field, but he also caught the attention of several coaches this spring.
"This year I went to a Scout.com combine, a Nike combine and a UCLA skills camp," he said. "I thought I did pretty good. I went to the UCLA one the year before, so I was used to it, but overall I think I did good."
Davis won't do all of his damage on the defensive side of the ball. John Michael also expects to start at receiver for Santa Margarita Catholic. Last season he finished with 14 catches for 169 yards.
As solid as he is in on the field, Davis is just as solid in the classroom with a 3.3 g.p.a.