Before being hired as Ohio State’s new linebackers coach this offseason, Bill Davis had only one year of college football coaching experience. And that was back in 1991 when he was a graduate assistant for Michigan State. After that one season with the Spartans, Davis spent the next 23 years as an assistant coach in the NFL.
With limited experience in the collegiate coaching ranks, Davis’ familiarity with recruiting came into question. Davis, who replaces Luke Fickell as OSU’s linebackers coach, even admitted earlier this spring that he had never done recruiting prior to landing his current position with the Buckeyes.
For someone who is trying it out for the first time, he seems to have a knack for it.
“Coach Davis is a great guy,” Toledo St. John’s Jesuit linebacker Dallas Gant told Scout on Sunday at The Nike Opening in Cleveland. “I talk to him weekly. I text him a lot. At first, I thought it would kind of be a big difference between Coach Fickell and Coach Davis because I love Coach Fickell (who is now the head coach at Cincinnati).
“Coach Davis came in smoothly, and I think he’s going to really help the team with his experience from the NFL. So, I really don’t think there’s a big difference anymore.”
Columbus (Ohio) DeSales linebacker Brian Asamoah had similar feelings about OSU’s new assistant.
“Me and Coach Davis probably talk three times a week,” Asamoah told Scout. “He tells me how practice is going every once in a while. I also talk about how I’m doing in school and how his transition from the NFL to Ohio State is.
“I think he’s doing a great job with (recruiting). He’s showing me a lot of interest. He’s doing a great job recruiting me and is doing the best he can.”
Lakota (Ohio) West linebacker Xavier Peters noted the relationship he has recently formed with Davis and admires OSU’s honesty.
“It’s been really well because we’re starting to build a bond that I really like,” Peters said of Davis. “The schools that I visit, they tell me things I’m doing good on. But when you visit Ohio State, they tell you about the things you need to work on and what you need to develop. That’s the thing that I love about that school. You’ve just got to compete every second.”
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