4-star defender names a leader

The current South Carolina coaching staff has made a living off taking excellent high school football players that other programs pass on due to a lack of prototypical size and developing them into the backbone of their defense. One prospect who could fit that mold is 5'7", 186-pound Tucker (Ga.) wrecking ball Jonathan Davis. Read inside as Davis talks the latest with GamecockAnthem.com

The productive high school linebacker/running back now has offers from South Carolina, Louisville, UCF, Penn State and UAB, but says one of those programs stands out above the rest.

"South Carolina," the dynamic defender said when asked if he had a leader. "I just like the way they're building that program up since Steve Spurrier has been there. I've been following them since he got there, and they've been doing good."

Davis, who ran a blazing 4.37 second forty yard dash at the Atlanta Scout.com combine back in January, said that another reason he finds South Carolina attractive is because of the opportunity to play in the SEC.

"I just like the direction they're going in. You can't go wrong with an SEC school. I feel like the SEC is the best, they recruit the best, and I would like to play against the best."

The Gamecocks are recruiting Davis as a strong safety, and safeties coach Ron Cooper is Davis' recruiter of record. The veteran coach has earned the 4-star prospect's trust.

"Coach Cooper is a great guy. He just tells me the way it's going to be. He tells me the real things; he doesn't just try to tell me what I want to hear."

Davis and his father plan to visit South Carolina sometime this month, and he also hopes to visit Louisville, UCF, and Penn State at some point this summer.

Davis broke down what he likes about those three programs.

Louisville - "They've been looking at me as a running back. And if I have to choose a position ,I think I would choose running back. I like having the ball in my hands."

UCF - "They're recruiting me as an inside linebacker. I went down there on spring break for their junior day, and they have a great campus. Coach George (Godsey) is recruiting me for them. He is a great guy; I look up to him a lot. I just love the way they're building their program up. They just built a new facility that's not even five years old yet. It's a great state."

Penn State - "They're just linebacker nation. If you want to play linebacker you can't go wrong there."

The productive defender, who totaled 138 tackles last year, also described what he is looking for in the program that he eventually chooses.

"The main thing I'll look at is their graduation rates. How do they help their players in the class room if they're struggling? What extra mile do they go to for them to graduate and graduate early? That will be real big."

For the time being, the versatile standout is working hard preparing himself for his senior season. Davis described some of the things he hopes to improve on this summer.

"My cover skills, because I know if I go to a school that wants me to play defense I'm going to have to do a lot of that so I'm trying to improve my cover skills."

All of that hard work should pay off for Davis' Tucker Tigers when they kickoff their 2008 season against Lakeside September 5. Davis says he plans to make his commitment before that game.

David is considered a 4-star prospect and the nation's No. 9 middle linebacker according to Scout.com.

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