Name: Mike Davis
Position: Running Back
High School: Stephenson (Stone Mountain, GA)
Status: Verbally committed to Florida
Nothing like a video with some production value, even if does include a Nick Saban cameo. We have music. We have sound effects. We have Davis with the introduction. We even have a quick clip of older brother James Davis.
Some questioned Mike Davis’s desire to come to Florida. He committed after the Gators were already listing Matt Jones as a future orange and bluer. Davis knew what he was doing though. Florida told him they would take two running backs as part of the 2012 recruiting class and they wanted to be sure he was one of them. It does not hurt that Davis has split carries during his high school career. And it further relieves the pain given how he and Jones can complement one another.
Davis is the compact back of the two, but he is not small. It is the 192 pounds that should get you excited. Former Gator great Emmitt Smith also measured in at 5’9". At that weight already, it is easy to imagine Davis being able to add some weight to get closer to the size Smith was at his best. Davis is not a Jeffery Demps or Chris Rainey. He can be a power runner as well as get to the outside. He truly has the potential to develop into a complete running back.
Clips show his speed to the outside and this is where he will most frequently make the big play. Davis likes to get outside of the defense and outrun would be tacklers to the edge. He does have straight speed, but he seems to power off of the acceleration he develops as he is making the turn outside. While other clips will show him lowering his shoulder and taking a hit, Davis knows when he can get around the edge and use his field speed to his advantage. He should prove valuable on sweep and toss plays.
Davis’s agility is one of his biggest strengths and serves him well on many plays, but he can also rely on it too much. There are times when he makes a move only to be tackled by the next defender. For the most part, it ends up being the end to a big play as it is, but there are times when he did not need to make the move and could have outraced the first defender and then beaten the second. Still, his agility is a plus and more often than not helps Davis turn what would be a five-yard gain into a 15-yarder. It will be harder to make those moves against defenders in the SEC, but he will make more than a few miss.
As mentioned, the power is also there. Davis is not afraid to carry the ball through the middle of the field. He has a good sense of his blockers and is great at getting behind them and following them until a spot opens for him to turn on the speed. Davis is not too quick to try to outrun the line. He knows the value of great blocking and generally gets himself a few extra yards by being patient for holes to develop. Davis can take a tackle and bounce back up for the next carry. The weight he carries on his frame will serve him well and not make him as susceptible to getting hurt on a big hit.
We do not get to see much of either, but there are some clips highlighting Davis’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and stay home and block. He appears to have the ability to take a screen and make a play, but it is hard to know how he will be used at Florida at this point and what skills he will need in that respect. One that fans will love to see is blocking ability. How many times have Gators running backs stayed in the backfield to block in recent memory? Davis can and will do this.
Davis is one of the Stone Mountain group of recruits most of the nation is pushing hard for. He already has one teammate committed to coming to Florida with him (JaFar Mann) and hopes to make it more. Davis has made it his mission to recruit them all for the Gators.