Davon Custis, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound four-star defensive end from St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus, took his final official visit on Jan. 9 to Stanford and says he’s ready to make a decision.
“I plan on doing it the old-fashioned way,” he said. “I’m just going to call the coach and let him know. I’ll probably do it sometime tomorrow afternoon.”
But which school will it be? “It’s between Stanford and Northwestern,” he said, careful not to tip his hand.
“My trip to Stanford last weekend was fun,” Custis said. “I had a good time but the thing that really stood out was the weather. It was amazing. I’m not used to it being in the 70’s in January.”
Besides the weather in Palo Alto, Custis says he also enjoyed getting to spend time with the coaches. “The coaches are real good,” he said. “They are real easy to talk to and we spent a lot of time chatting. We went to breakfast and lunch and I got a lot of time to talk with them.
“We would just talk about my future and how I would fit in there,” he said. “They told me that I’d get a lot of playing time and that they like rotating their defensive ends a lot to keep them fresh. They said I could be an impact player.”
Custis’ host was Cardinal freshman running back Delano Howell. “He had a lot of good things to say about the coaches too,” he said. “He said what you see is what you get with them and that they aren’t the type of guys that just put on a show for recruits.”
Custis says the weekend he visited was one of the largest that Stanford has ever hosted. “There were about 30 recruits,” he said. “It was crazy. A guy I used to go to middle school with (cornerback Ryan Ballenger from Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio) was actually on the visit too, so that was cool to see him again.”
During his official visit, Custis also found out that he had been admitted by admissions to Stanford. “It’s a great academic school and you can tell that the players take that seriously,” he said. “It’s also a really nice campus.”
One month ago Custis said there was a “75 percent chance” he’d pick Boston College. Now the Eagles aren’t even in this top three. Was the firing of head coach Jeff Jagodzinski the reason? “The coaching change really hurt,” he said.
“I’d been having second thoughts about them for a little while and that was pretty much the last straw,” he said. “I was real surprised when I heard the news about coach Jags.
“That day after they made the announcement I got a call from their running back coach Ben Sirmans,” Custis said. “He told me the transition would be real smooth and that they were most likely going to promote (defensive coordinator) Frank Spaziani to head coach…and they did.”
So why didn’t Custis want to stick with the Eagles? “I was in a similar situation in high school. During my sophomore year we got a new coach and it wasn’t easy. It’s always different and the transition isn’t fun. I didn’t want to go through that.”
Custis has visited Boston College on Sept. 6, Wisconsin on Oct. 4, Northwestern on Dec. 6 and Notre Dame on Dec. 13. Of those, only Northwestern remains in the game.
“I thought the school did very well this year,” he said. “I had taken an unofficial visit there during my junior year and then took my official trip and loved it. It was great getting to know more about the school and football program.
“I really got a deeper understanding of what the program is all about,” he said. “It was a few weeks before the bowl game and we got to see them practice and I loved how fast-paced and intense it was. Everyone was real pumped and excited. That surprised me because I think every team, no matter if it’s high school, college or NFL, slows down at the end of the year…but they didn’t.”
But was his experience at Stanford better than at Northwestern? “They both have great academics and are both great programs,” he said.
So what’s the difference between the two programs at this point? “One I’m definitely going to commit to and the other one I’m not,” Custis said with a laugh.
Custis is ranked as the No. 23 defensive end in the country by Scout.com
He reports a 3.8 core GPA, a 24 ACT and wants to major in business.