Wayne Davis has been a highly-targeted cornerback for many programs in the ACC, Big 10, and even into the SEC. Davis has made a few visits this spring with his visit to Virginia Tech being the one gaining the most attention, but also plans on making at least a visit to Ohio State over the summer.
Not too long ago, Davis revealed a top five, but it still seemed like the recruitment of a Davis was far from over. However, the pace of Davis’s recruitment has picked up to the point where Davis has named two leaders for his recruitment as reported by 247 Sports’ Evan Watkins.
“According to Davis, the Virginia Tech Hokies and Ohio State Buckeyes are recruiting him the hardest and are tied at the top of his list.
Originally, Davis maintained that a decision could come on signing day but he tells Ryan Bartow that he is now aiming to make his college commitment this summer.”
For a while, it seemed like the Hokies and Buckeyes were clearly out front in the pursuit of Davis so this news is not a major surprise. However, both programs are probably very intrigued to hear that the timetable for Davis to make a decision has sped up a lot. Given the amount of time Davis has spent around both programs, this is likely to be a decision that stands strong through the rest of the recruiting cycle for the Class of 2016.
Wayne Davis is ranked as a three-star recruit by ESPN and 247 Sports while Rivals has him as a four-star recruit. Among cornerbacks, Davis is ranked as the 20th best cornerback in the nation by Rivals while the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 30th best cornerback. Davis is also seen as one of the top 10 recruits in Virginia with Rivals ranking him seventh and the 247 Sports Composite ranking him ninth among recruits in the Commonwealth.
It would not be surprising if these rankings continue to improve for Davis. The Lake Taylor High School cornerback has tremendous instincts and his athleticism should only continue to improve. Instincts are one of the hardest skills to teach and Davis looks like a player not only with a lot of athletic upside, but a high early-impact potential due to his impressive instincts.
This recruiting battle has become a war between Bryan Stinespring and elite Ohio State recruiter Larry Johnson. Stinespring and Johnson both know the recruiting turf extremely well, and have unsurprisingly put their teams in very good positions to get a very talented cornerback.
One guy who could be a difference maker for the Hokies is Zohn Burden. Burden is known as a great recruiter of the 757, and has become the other main recruiter for the Hokies in the pursuit of Burden. The impact of Burden is an x-factor that could help push the Hokies to getting the commitment of Wayne Davis.
Virginia Tech’s tremendous history with producing great defensive backs will be well-known by Davis, and definitely is a recruiting advantage for the Hokies. Davis has also seen 757 defensive backs be developed into stars at Virginia Tech including Kam Chancellor and DeAngelo Hall.
Virginia Tech has not only a big proximity to home advantage, but also has the advantage of having a lot of players from the 757 on the roster. The Hokies are also going aggressively after his new Lake Taylor teammate and fellow defensive back Keyvone Bruton.
Virginia Tech’s victory over Ohio State will slightly mitigate the impressive success of Urban Meyer at Ohio State. However, Meyer has gone on such an impressive run at Ohio State that it is definitely a recruiting advantage for the Buckeyes over probably every program in the nation other than maybe Alabama.
Davis definitely has the potential to get early playing time though it seems much more likely at Virginia Tech than Ohio State. There is a good chance that Kendall Fuller will leave after next season to be a top-20 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft while Donovan Riley has changed position along with being a senior this year, while Chuck Clark could still end up at free safety in the future with C.J. Reavis at rover for the next few years.
This recruiting battle is going to be intense over the next few months leading up to the decision date that Wayne Davis seems likely to set in the not too distant future. Both programs seem even right now, but the Hokies will do everything they can to prevent another top Virginia recruit from leaving the state.