Ryan Davis now has a new home. This 2015 four-star prospect just transferred from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast to St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood. In his debut with the Spartans they lost to Countryside 15-13.
You could tell in watching this game that Davis is not yet quite on the same page as his teammates. The rhythm and timing in the passing game was off. Davis was under constant pressure from the Cougars defense the entire game. It’s not a surprise considering how much Lakewood wants to throw the football because of Davis’s passing abilities and the immense amount of talent that they have at the wide receiver position. In addition, they have a big and talented offensive line, led by 2014 offensive guard prospect and Georgia commitment Isaiah Wynn.
Yet they really struggled for much of the game. In fact, the Spartans only managed a few sustainable drives during this contest.
Last year I had the opportunity to watch Davis play a very talented Tampa Catholic team when he was the quarterback at Northeast. I saw a talented athlete with so much ability.
All of those qualities showed in flashes for Davis this past Friday night. First of all, what really sets Davis apart is his pure athleticism. He’s lightning quick and very fast. You don’t get a real sense of just how athletic this kid is until you see him in person. It’s quite different than watching him perform at a camp or play 7-on7 ball.
When the bullets are flying for real he’s so tough to contain and handle in the pocket. Davis has exceptionally quick feet and very good pocket presence. On the field Davis has elite speed and quickness and it’s this combination that makes him a big play guy. He can turn a bad pocket into a big play because he has escapability and can extend a play. Davis is so tough in the open field. There were a few designed run plays (sweeps) for him against the Cougars and he did some damage.
As a passer he’s getting better. Davis possesses a lively arm but struggled against Countryside with his accuracy and timing with his new receivers. When he was on he threw some darts. On one play Davis threw a laser seam route to Jocqui Ellison for a big gain in the first half. He also had a couple of nice throws to the wide side of the field, showing his arm strength. Davis also made some throws on the run.
On a side note, one thing I noticed that I would say negatively towards Davis is that at times in this game he tried to do too much on his own. He was pressing. Instead of getting the ball to his teammates he was trying to make plays on his own rather than trusting the play. That could be some immaturity, frustration or just a little bit of both. It was just a tough night for this offense. But lets also remember that Lakewood didn't have a game the previous week. Their scheduled pre-season game against Miramar (Fla.) didn't take place for whatever reason. When you are breaking in a new quarterback against a defense like Countryside with no preseason action that's tough.
As a prospect Davis is so intriguing to me. I truly feel in certain systems he can be a quarterback. He’s best suited for a spread attack and that’s why Arizona and Rich Rodriguez have offered him a scholarship. He’s size (5-11/165) scares me but he still has two years to get bigger and stronger.
Having said that, I know that Davis is warming up to the idea of playing slot wide receiver at the next level. That’s what he played for the Team Tampa 7-on-7 team this spring and summer and he showed some flashes. Again, you don’t get a real sense of his explosion and suddenness until you see this cat play live.
In terms of Lakewood, this is a talented team that should get better as the season progresses. They have too much talent on offense and a guy in Davis that can lead them to big things. But on this night, you have to give credit to Countryside, especially their defense.
Below are some highlights of Davis and Lakewood against the Cougars.