Four-star receiver Reggie Davis committed to Georgia on Sunday and left many Gator fans wondering what went wrong with him and Florida.
Back in early February, Davis and fellow Tallahassee Lincoln receiver Taj Williams both sent out a series of tweets suggesting they were UF bound after their teammate — linebacker James Hearns — chose to the Gators.
But weeks passed without a pledge from the pair of prospects, and as Florida began to take other receivers in the months that followed, Davis starting looking elsewhere.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday night, Davis shed some light on the situation and revealed he hasn’t had a committable offer since former Florida offensive coordinator left to become head coach at Kansas.
“To be honest, Charlie Weis was the coach that offered me from Florida. When he left to go to Kansas, I think my Florida offer left with him. After that, the [Florida coaches] were like ‘Why don’t you come to camp and show the new coaches what you can do?’ But why would I do all of that when I still have a Georgia offer sitting here and they [Florida] have other coaches that know what I can do. Why should I have to go through that when I have a bunch of other schools lined up and waiting for me?”
It’s easy to understand his sentiment, but what’s not so understandable is why Florida wasn’t pursuing Davis.
The answer is simple: Davis did not fit the criteria UF coach Will Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Brent Pease look for in a receiver.
No disrespect to Davis and his talents, as he may very well strive at Georgia, but he doesn’t have the physical makeup the coaches want, which is a wideout that is 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4, at or near 200 pounds and in the 4.5 40 range.
The average height of UF’s three receiver commits is over 6-2, with Ahmad Fulwood being the tallest (6-4) and Rodney Adams being the shortest (6-1). The average weight is 192 pounds.
Florida’s top five remaining targets all match that criteria: Demarcus Robinson (6-2, 200), Marquez North (6-3, 210), Francis Owusu (6-3, 195), Demorea Stringfellow (6-3, 203), Carlos Burse (6-3, 205).
Davis is 155 pounds and a generous 5-foot-11. Some list him as tall as 6-1, but I’ve seen both him and Rodney Adams in person. They are not the same height.
If a receiver prospect doesn’t meet one or more of Florida’s recruiting requirements, he has to excel in another. For instance, Adams and Stacy Coley are both 6-1 and 175, but they have superb speed and play-making ability. If Coley could improve his academics, the Gators would take him just as they did Adams.
But for someone as small as Davis or Seffner Armwood receiver Alvin Bailey (5-11, 170), they would need to run a sub 4.4 and neither reportedly do. They were given the opportunity to prove it at camp this summer, but both said they wouldn’t run the forty-yash dash because, as Davis mentioned, why should they have to go through that when other schools will take them now.
There will be recruiting cycles where Florida takes a smaller, speedy slot receiver, but 2013 isn’t one of them. The coaches are trying to get bigger at the position and it shows with the wideouts they’ve landed and targeted.