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Recruiting round-up: Scouting Ryan Davis, Maryland updates before Signing Day

Testudo Times talks with the head coach of the four-star Floridian.


With two days remaining until National Signing Day, Maryland remains in the mix for at least one high-profile Floridian. Not Byron Cowart, the five-star defensive tackle who doesn't have the Terrapins in his final two, but Ryan Davis. UMD is certainly a long shot for the four-star wide receiver from Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, but wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell has aggressively pursued him at times and Davis visited College Park as recently as September.

Davis took late official visits to Alabama and Auburn, and Florida and Florida State remain the presumed favorites, so it's tough competition for the Terps. That's what comes with the territory when recruiting one of the premier playmakers in the country.

"There's probably only three or four guys that can do what he can do in the country," Lakewood head coach Cory Moore said. "The way he can make things happen with the ball in his hands and also to set teams up to score without the ball in his hand."

Moore, who has coached Davis since his transfer to Lakewood for his junior season, spoke with Testudo Times this week to help scout the No. 24 wide receiver in the country. But for the Spartans, Davis wasn't even a wide receiver. Moore's philosophy is to put the ball in the hands of his best playmaker as often as possible, which means Davis was a quarterback, and one of the best quarterbacks in the state.

"When he has the ball in his hands," Moore said, "he's a threat to score every time."

In the state semifinals, Moore faced a problem with one easy answer and one more exciting—but undoubtedly riskier—answer.

Lakewood faced a fourth and goal from the 2-yard line against Gulf High School. With the Spartans down three in double overtime, a field goal would have extended the game.

"Coach, I'll put the team on my back," Moore recalls Davis telling him. So Lakewood went for it, and Davis scrambled into the corner of the end zone for a 30-27 win. Even after Davis was held to 41 rushing yards and 155 yards through the air, Moore put the game in the hands of his best player.

That confidence and leadership ability, when mixed with his athleticism and knowledge of offense is what Moore expects will make Davis an excellent wideout.

"Playing quarterback, he knows a lot about coverages. ... He's not just an athlete, but he knows the game," Moore said of his 5-foot-10, 167-pound star. "He knows what it takes for a receiver to get open."

Whoever he does choose at 10 a.m. on National Signing Day will get a tremendous talent. With just a few days remaining until NSD, here's what went down in the past week:
  • Quarvez Boulware, the four-star prospect from Washington who was once reportedly committed to Maryland, has still taken visits since his alleged decision. During the past two weekends, the interior lineman from Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School took official visits to Wake Forest and Florida. The Terrapins still remain the favorite.
  • Tino Ellis, a four-star athlete from DeMatha Catholic High School and the No. 10 player in Maryland for the Class of 2016, set July 31 as his decision date and named UMD as part of his current top five. Ellis plays wide receiver and safety at DeMatha Catholic.
  • Another top DeMatha player from the Class of 2016 will finish his high school career elsewhere. Four-star tackle JP Urquidez will play his senior season at Copperas Cove High School in Texas, 247sports reports. The Terps offered Urquidez in April.
  • After being committed to the Terrapins for more than six months, three-star safety Jameel Cook took a last-minute official visit to Indiana and flipped his commitment to the Hoosiers.