DB, 5-11, 185 lbs., 4.4
Fitch High School – Austintown, Ohio
Athletic prospect out of Austintown Fitch High in Youngstown … expected to play cornerback for the Mountaineers … earned allstate and all-NEO recognition for Coach Carl Pelini as a running and cornerback … all-Steel Valley Conference pick who gained more than 1,000 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions as a senior.
"Davanzo has been a dominant player for us since the time he was a sophomore," said Pelini. "For the past three years, 30 games, he's taken the opponent's best receiver and shut them down; he's smothered them. He's a physical cornerback who can play press coverage, and he's also fast enough to turn and run with any receiver. Davanzo is also very good in run support. He's a tough kid who doesn't mind sticking his nose in the pile. He's simply an excellent player."
Played in both the Ohio North-South and Big 33 all-star games … among top 60 cornerbacks by TheInsiders.com … state qualifier in the 55-meter indoor dash in track this winter … recruited by Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Maryland and West Virginia, but he went to camp at WVU this past summer, found a place he liked and committed early.
"Davanzo made a good connection with the coach who was recruiting him, Jeff Casteel," said Pelini. "He liked the style of what they do, the people he met, and the fact that West Virginia isn't too far away. It just seemed to be the perfect fit for him."
Bench presses 300 pounds, power cleans 290 and squats 500.
"Davanzo is a great kid," noted Pelini. "He's been a great role model off the field and in the classroom. On the field, he's an outstanding leader and when it comes to playing, he's a warrior. He's got all it takes to be a great player – athletic ability, character, work ethic, intelligence, everything. He's been a great player for us, and I'm sure he will be for West Virginia as well."
One of four players from the Youngstown area to sign with WVU in this class, joining Mike Villagrana and Andy Good, both of Boardman, and Chaney's Keilen Dykes … a very good student who is a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.5 GPA … plans to study business … son of Davanzo Sr. and Rita Tate and Dedra Harris.
What Rich Rodriguez says: "Davanzo played running back and defensive back in high school, but he's going to be a corner for us. We had Davanzo in camp, and we liked the way he looked. He had a great senior year. He's one of the fastest guys we signed, and he's also very strong."
What Herb Hand says: "Davanzo is another one of those athletic guys who we think fits best in the defensive secondary. He's going to be a corner. He's a guy we offered out of camp, and he committed to us. We're very happy about that, because he had a very good senior year but still stuck with us."