Arc of Progression

Calvert Hall High School defensive backs coach Cory Robinson has seen Da'Quan Davis progress from an undersized freshman to a rising senior – and on Saturday he saw all the hard work involved pay off when Davis committed to West Virginia.

Robinson, who brought a team to West Virginia's 7-on-7 camp made up of players from Calvert Hall and other Baltimore-area schools, explained that Davis wasn't a player who came to Calvert Hall with a lot of accolades.

"He is a workhorse – a kid who has been through a lot of adversity. He has trained himself hard, and his listens to his coaches. He has turned himself into what he is now. He wasn't a highly decorated guy coming out of youth ball or middle school. Of the guys he came in with, he wasn't the first guy who you thought would be committing to a place like West Virginia. But he has worked hard, and he has made himself one of the top defensive players in our area, and now he's set for a great senior season.

Davis, who entered high school at five feet, six inches and about 130 pounds, wasn't a standout by any means, but something about his dedication and work ethic caught the attention of Robinson. There was also one other physical attribute Davis possessed that had Robinson eager to work with him.

"I joke that Da'Quan has the best feet in the western hemisphere," Robinson said with a laugh. "He has great feet for a corner. A lot of people don't realize how important having great balance and great footwork are to that position, but the West Virginia coaches saw that. As a sophomore, we decided to bring him up to the varsity, and he played behind a guy that is at Penn State and another who is also playing in college. Da'Quan was the third guy and didn't get a lot of playing time, but I liked his feet and loved the way he competed. I wanted that year to work with him."

Robinson got his wish, and Davis, despite the limited time, performed well. He then set out on a mission to improve everything about his game during the summer prior to his junior season, and it was then that Robinson saw him start to blossom into a Division I player.

He got into the weight room, and he just turned himself int a beast," said Robinson, who marveled at his work ethic. He gained 40 pounds between his sophomore season and now, and that's just remarkable. It all came from his dedication in the weight room. I have just seen a lot of maturation in him.

Davis, who now checks in at five feet, 11 inches and 170 pounds, also has the agility and change of direction skills valued by defensive secondary coaches.

"He has great hips, he knows when to flip them," said Robinson, describing the skill that corners must have to transition from the initial backpedal through turning and running with a receiver. And he can jam the hell out of you. He can get you at the line and keep you out of your route. Mentally, he makes good decisions, he knows how to change up and disguise his coverages. He just has those tools that make a great corner."

Davis completes the package with leadership skills that show both on and off the field.

"He's a leader and he leads both by example and vocally. He's a guy who takes charge in the huddle, and takes command in there. I have seen him mature in a lot of ways, and West Virginia is getting a guy that is going to make a lot of plays and put smiles on a lot of faces. "

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