Vols Interested in Mississippi QB

Since signing two premier quarterback prospects in a single class is often impractical, Tennessee's search for signal callers is likely to entail inking a highly-ranked QB along with one that can be developed into a topflight passer.

One quarterback the Vols are pursuing who falls into that later category is Cliff Davis of Eupora, Miss., who at 6-5, 205, with 4.7 speed has outstanding potential. Davis is also an accurate passer with a strong arm and four years of starting experience albeit at the Class-AA level.

During his four seasons as a starter, the Eagles have compiled an impressive 37-11 record highlighted by a 31-6 mark over the last three years. This season Eupora High School is 10-1 with a 39-0 victory in the first round over Simmons.

As a sophomore, Davis led the Eagles to the state semifinals with an 11-3 record. As a junior he passed for over 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns to pace Eupora to a 10-2 mark. Davis, who is rated No. 65 at his position by The Insiders, has improved each season and believes his senior season is his best overall.

"I think I'm having a pretty good year," he said. "I've got close to 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions."

Davis' production would be higher if not for the fact Eupora uses a run-oriented offense that features the leading Class-AA rusher in Mississippi.

"We're two dimensional," Davis said. "We've got a running back who rushes the ball up and down the field. He's the leading rusher in Class-AA."

Davis has the size, athletic ability and desire to help his team on defense, but his value at quarterback is too great to merit the risk. He also has the speed to pile up yardage on the ground, but he prefers staying in the pocket where his height,vision and passing touch enable him dissect defenses.

"I'm a pocket passer," said Davis, who stood 6-4 and weighed 180 as a freshman. "I really don't have to run that much and I get rid of the ball. I don't hold it. I don't take sacks. I either throw it away or put it to where only my receiver can get it."

In one game this season, Davis connected on 18-of-20 passes for 343 yards and five touchdowns. He credits his father, Mac Davis, with developing his game and encouraging his interest in football.

"My dad pushed me to do everything I've done," he stated.

Davis' physical attributes and cerebral approach to a demanding position have generated genuine interest from schools throughout the SEC. He is currently considering five of those colleges, one of which is Tennessee.

"I've got a lot of interest in Tennessee," he said. "I have interest in all the SEC schools. I'm also looking at Alabama, LSU, Mississippi and Mississippi State. I haven't made any visits yet and I don't have a leader."

Davis grew up a fan of Ole Miss and has attended many games in Oxford. He hasn't ever been to Tennessee, but he plans to take an official visit to Knoxville in December.

"I'm going to take a visit to Tennessee in December and one to Mississippi State in January," he said. "I got interested in Tennessee through all the attention they get and because of what their tradition is like."

Steve Caldwell is recruiting Davis for the Vols and the strong-armed taskmaster describes their relationship as "very good."

Davis wasn't aware of the recent news that Tennessee has decided not to recruit Chris Leak, rated the nation's No. 2 QB by The Insiders, but admits, if it is true, it makes the Vols more attractive.

Those sentiments are likely to be echoed by every QB on Tennessee's recruiting list.


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