|Devron Davis announced his top seven schools on Thursday, Oct. 8. Four PAC-12 programs, two from the Big 10 and one SEC school made his final list (photo contributed).|
He’s the most wanted junior college football player in the nation with over 30 reported offers and now, Merced College cornerback Devron Davis announced on Thursday, Oct. 8 that seven programs are frontrunners to claim the shutdown corner.
If anyone reading this is a fan of Oregon, UCLA, Michigan State, Nebraska, Cal, Arizona State and Missouri there’s good news: all seven universities are on Davis’ short list.
But the burning question now is which school has the strongest chance to land the 6-foot, 210-pound island defender? Here’s Cali Gold Mine’s take:
The Ducks’ defense needs help…and is in need of a true cover cornerback.
The secondary has surrendered 15 passing touchdowns through five games. That’s an average of three aerial scores per game.
Oregon also has one of the worst defenses in the nation so far in 2015-16, sitting at No. 110 and allowing 287.2 yards through the air.
Granted, inexperience has played a role in the secondary’s rough start. But still, Davis can be an instant impact player with his cover speed, hip angles and eyes for the ball.
STAKES TO LAND AT OREGON: Very high.
The Bruins got Ishmael Adams back from his Uber arrest in August, plus have one solid building block at corner in redshirt freshman Adarius Pickett.
While UCLA pilfered 6-foot-2, 180-pound Chris Gaston from nearby Bishop Amat High for the 2016 class, the Bruins will still likely make the secondary a top priority for this recruiting period; since UCLA stands at No. 82 in total defense and has given up 22 points per game.
STAKES TO LAND AT UCLA: High.
It’s interesting to see the Spartans high on Davis’ list, especially considering that MSU came after Davis this late in the recruiting period.
However, it makes sense why the nation’s No. 4 ranked college team would come to California to try and swoop up Davis: the Spartans are among the worst in the Big 10 against the pass with 248.8 yards allowed per game.
Plus, on Davis’ end, he can aid an MSU secondary that’s given up too many yards and lost rising freshman Vayante Copeland for the rest of the year. This unit's other claim to fame is producing recent NFL first round pick Trae Waynes. The Spartans are one to keep an eye on.
STAKES TO LAND AT MICHIGAN STATE: Extremely high.
The Cornhuskers are worse than MSU on defense in the Big 10 as the nation’s No. 108 rated unit.
Nebraska has gone with a young rotation in the defensive backfield. Plus they’ve been transitioning in a new regime with Mike Riley.
But Riley and the Cornhusker staff have five cornerbacks in the ’16 class who are on Nebraska’s radar, with Davis being the most high-profile one.
STAKES TO LAND AT NEBRASKA: High.
The Golden Bears are on a roll defensively under coordinator Art Kaufman, with 18 takeaways in five games.
What works in Davis’ favor is Cal’s affinity for the J.C transfers. The Bears have 20 players on the current roster who played JUCO ball, including cornerbacks Darius White (Itawamba Community College) and Antoine Albert (Diablo Valley College).
The downside, though, is that Cal has already received three cornerback commitments for this next class including highly-touted Traveon Beck from St. John Bosco (Bellflower), who turned down Arizona State, UCLA and Wisconsin to join the Bears.
STAKES TO LAND AT CAL: Low.
The Sun Devils have produced one of the better defenses in the PAC-12 and have thrived on players who are either in their first or second season with ASU.
Arizona State’s history of playing newcomers right away can be intriguing. While ASU recruited 5-foot-11 Stanley “Scrappy” Norman in the 2015 class and received a verbal commitment from Robbie Robinson for 2016, Davis can give the Sun Devils a tall, physical shutdown cornerback.
STAKES TO LAND AT ARIZONA STATE: High.
Like MSU, the Tigers came on Davis late.
Shockingly – with Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Florida offering Davis – it is Mizzou making Davis’ cut among the Southeastern Conference teams.
The Tigers will have to replace three defensive backs to graduation after this season, plus might lose junior Aarion Penton to the NFL draft.
Another motivating factor? The Tigers have the second best defense in the SEC behind LSU. We won’t be shocked if Davis heads to Columbia.
STAKES TO LAND AT MISSOURI: EXTREMELY HIGH.