Over the next 40 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at freshman defensive linebacker Jarrad Davis.
Davis is an underrated linebacker prospect from Camden County High School in Kingsland, Georgia.
Davis committed to Auburn University in April of 2012 but that didn’t stop the Gators from pursuing him. Following an in-home visit from D.J. Durkin and Dan Quinn, Davis officially visited Florida on December 14th and promptly decommitted from Auburn, switching his pledge to Florida on the 15th.
That was it for Davis. He didn’t take any more visits and the rest of his recruitment was uneventful – just like the coaching staff likes.
Davis is an athletic linebacker who is more quick than fast but, also possesses good speed for his size. Listed at 6’2”, 225-pounds, Davis has a solid frame that looks like it can sustain added bulk.
Davis is a technically sound tackler who wraps up and drives through the ball carrier.
Davis has good instincts against the run and his speed and athleticism allow him to get into the backfield and harass quarterbacks and running backs. He’s an aggressive linebacker who isn’t afraid to mix it up with offensive linemen.
Davis is also good in coverage. His aforementioned athleticism allows him to cut, turn his hips and run with backs and tight ends. Davis is a solid prospect who should develop well into a three down linebacker.
After a strength section like that, what am I supposed to put here? Davis is listed 15 –pounds heavier than he was in high school, so the question of how he will hold up in the SEC should be answered quickly.
Davis could work on his man coverage ability. He is a strong underneath zone defender and his size and athleticism project that he would be able to cover man-to-man, but there isn’t a lot of tape of him covering man-to-man.
What to Expect
With Daniel McMillian enrolling early along with the two big flips of Matt Rolin and Alex Anzalone, most Gator fans have forgotten Davis. It won’t take long for Davis to change that perspective, as I believe he is one of the more underrated players in the recruiting class.
Depending on the health status of both Alex Anzalone and Matt Rolin (not to mention the impending suspension of Antonio Morrison), Davis could see action early in the season.
At the very least, Davis will play on special teams as a freshman and develop into a very good player for the Gators down the line.