'11 LB Daniel Davis commits to Stanford

Rarely does one encounter a high school football recruit that seems more tailor-made to play football at Stanford than Oklahoma linebacker/defensive end Daniel Davis.

A 4.0 student who took three AP courses in the first semester of his junior year, while enjoying strong play in the defensive front seven for Norman North High School, Daniel Davis is the epitome of a student-athlete.

Offered by the Cardinal as a linebacker over the summer after a standout performance at camp, Davis has held some Stanford in high esteem for some time now. He came close to making a commitment to the Cardinal while on an unofficial visit for the Oregon game last month, but decided to wait until he got back home so he didn't make a decision in the heat of the moment.

Three weeks later, with his affinity for the Cardinal still high, Davis decided it was time to make his commitment.

"At lunch I called the big man, Coach Harbaugh, and asked him if he would accept my commitment to Stanford," Davis said. "It was kind of funny because he was like, ‘Let me think about that for a second,' but of course he was joking.

Davis committed to the Cardinal over high interest from schools like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, but no other scholarship offers, in large part because he plays out of position at defensive end for his high school team.

"There's not really another school that offers what Stanford does," Davis said. "[It's like the saying goes:] if you're smart enough to get into Stanford than you're not dumb enough to not go. When we went out there, I realized it was everything that I wanted and so much more. It was the most to offer me and the most to offer my future and I'm just hoping that I can help them out."

Davis could very well have waited and milked the recruiting process to see what other schools would extend him an offer. But the recruit didn't see the advantages of doing that with what Stanford has to offer.

"I thought it would just be dumb not to go there and I don't see why I really need to waste my time," Davis said.

As could be inferred by his class schedule, college priorities, and seeming maturity, Davis did make sure to do his due diligence on the Cardinal program before making a commitment. Since receiving an offer from Stanford at the Cardinal's summer football camp, he has talked with the Stanford coaches practically every Sunday night and has established relationships that go well beyond football.

"I‘ve been talking to them for like six months now, every weekend," Davis said. "Usually I'll try to call a different coach every week. I may just talk to one for two minutes to tell them I really liked the game or I may talk to them for 35 or 40 minutes and just talk about what I like to watch on TV."

Davis' connections with Stanford football run deeper than just his interaction with the coaching staff. Unlike at other schools, Davis has felt quite comfortable spending time with many of the Stanford players and recruits.

"You go to other camps [at other schools] and you'll have a hard time connecting with the players," Davis said. "It's hard to talk to other people that don't hold similar interests to you but when you go out to Stanford, it's different. All these people are just as smart as you are or smarter and they love to play football too. And they're normal people too, not nerds or robots."

Specifically, Davis has spent time varying amounts of time with the other three 2011 commits (Evan Crower, Ty Montgomery, and Amir Carlisle) as well as a few 2010 players. He even plays Xbox Live with freshman defensive lineman Geoff Meinken.

Still, as is the case with any player that commits this early, there will likely be some concern among the Stanford faithful Davis will be tempted to waver on his commitment, especially if schools like Texas or Oklahoma jump in the mix. And while the Scout 300 watch list member for 2011 admits that that anything can happen in the 18 months until Signing Day, he has a hard time envisioning himself playing football at any university other than Stanford.

"Anything can happen in a year and a half, but I'm pretty solid with my choice and I've thought about it a long time," Davis said. "Of course I've factored in if so and so were to give me a scholarship or ask me to play for them, and I don't really see going anywhere right now."

Before that happens, Davis will first need to pass through the school's admission process. While it may be a few months before Davis actually starts to work on the application, he is in excellent shape to be admitted to the university.

"Coach Harbaugh said if I don't get admitted into Stanford then I can have his job, so I feel pretty confident," Davis said.

With classes like AP Calculus and AP Stats on his schedule, Harbaugh's confidence should come as no surprise. It says something about Davis, though, that he's not just taking those classes to be admitted – he genuinely seems to be interested in preparing himself for the rigors of college the best he can.

"I'm taking hard classes now so that when I go and play football at Stanford hopefully classes won't be such a struggle," Davis said. "I know it's not going to be a breeze just because I play football – I'm not expecting it to be. I want a legit degree from Stanford. I don't want a phony degree or some degree where I can only be a football coach or something."

For more background information on Davis, please see TheBootleg.com's article on Davis from early November.

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