Versatility to spare - DE/LB, Daniel Davis
By Steve Ryan Publisher/Senior Writer
Date: Jul 3, 2003
Versatility. The ability to be versatile is no big deal to some, but that depends on a few things. If you are 6'1"-210 lbs., sure, everyone expects you to be versatile, because that frame means if you have the athleticism, there are a ton of positions you can play. However, if you are 6'2" and 250 lbs., versatility is an even bigger deal, because there's two, possibly three positions you are projected to play. And Daniel Davis is being recruited for pretty much all of them. That's versatility.
Daniel's frame is great, especially when you look at him as a linebacker. Good height, real nice size and speed that just tells you more about just how athletic kids are becoming in this new age of the athlete. Not even 10 years ago, it was almost an aberration that someone with Davis' size could run a sub-4.7. Now, it's still a big deal, but nobody just drops their jaw and says ‘wow'.
Ok, you still might.
That combination of size and speed coupled with strength (reported 335 bench and 600 squat) that just blows you away, I don't know about you, but I don't think up-side, I think a somebody that's built to play right now, pick the position he's being recruited for.
Amongst those positions are the two big ones for him, linebacker and rush end. Yes, you are thinking that as a linebacker, you are drooling at his size, but as a rush end, maybe that's a big question mark, because quickness aside, 6'2" just isn't your stereotypical outside pass-rusher nowadays. Daniel doesn't mind though, because he's got a pretty credible service in his corner saying that he can play the D-line just fine. "I was nominated for the "Ironman" competition and that's a competition between the top 100 offensive linemen and top 100 defensive linemen in the country." Daniel said. "That's on July 26th and the 27th."
Daniel's success at both positions have left him torn as to what he likes the most, regardless of what he is being recruited as. "I like both defensive end and linebacker." Davis stated. "I'm just an aggressive person, so I like any position on defense."
Aggressive. Yeah, that's a defensive player's mentality. It had better be. Flying around, crazy-intensity that drives them and scares the other guy. Hold on though. Daniel says ok, that's right, but he's got a lot more mature way of approaching his defensive mentality than that. "It's controlled aggression." Daniel said. "If you get too excited, you could make a mistake, therefore, you stay calm, but you need to deliver a hit so powerful that the player never wants to get hit by you again."
Similar to any successful player on either side, Daniel has a template of sorts for how he plays the game. It's the basis on which he does everything, because that's what got him to this point of his career. It's that controlled aggression, but it's intertwined with a variety of other aspects as well. "I am a little bit of everything out there." he said. "I am getting after it, but at the same time, I am a captain, so I have to act a certain way no matter how up or down I am, but on the defensive side, no matter what, you have to be nasty."
Nasty. Ok, now that's what I am talking about. Smack ‘em, rip ‘em, tear ‘em apart, crazy, pull their arms off nasty. That's my over-melodramatic definition. Here's Daniel's. "It's violent." he said. "It's hitting someone so hard, the crowd goes ‘ooooooooh'."
I'm just trying to picture this in my head, especially taking into account this is the high school level. Someone of Daniel's size running one way, a running back, say around 200 running his way, they collide and..........nahh, I wouldn't say ‘ooooooh'. I think instead I might say, ‘was that the ball that popped out or was that the running back's head?'.
It's a great combination of size, speed and strength Daniel has and it's all that plus his mentality that makes him intriguing to say the least. Enough so, that schools as far west as Nebraska have offered him, but of course, he's got some a lot closer from schools like Rutgers and Virginia.
What also makes Daniel attractive is the fact that all those aforementioned measurements means he can come in and contribute right way, something he would like to do, but something he doesn't look at as a "must have" thing for him to consider that school as a realistic candidate. "Any player wants to get out there and play right away." Daniel said. "But, I do what's best for me and the team and if that means I redshirt my first year, I redshirt my first year, but if means I work out harder in the summer so I can be ready to play when I get there, then I work out harder in the summer to be ready to play."
"There's so much that goes into what I need to do to make this decision, but I don't have to get on the field right away, but I'll be ready for that if they want me to."
Daniel isn't listing any leaders right now, but stated that those teams that have offered him are obviously teams he is looking at right now and for those fans of schools not necessarily "close" to Joizey, Davis stated that distance isn't a factor, at least not anymore. "When I first started playing, I thought distance was really important, but if that school is good and I feel comfortable with everything there and can at least keep in contact with my family, distance really isn't a big deal."
No decisions to come early for Davis as he plans on taking his time and of course, making the "right" decision.
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