Davis impressed by McElwain

Davis played quarterback for his high school team and finished his senior season with 35 total touchdowns and 3,373 combined yards rushing and passing. (Photo courtesy of Davis)

Generating more recruiting success in the state of Florida, particularly the Tampa area, is one of the top priorities new UF coach Jim McElwain set forth upon taking the job.

One prospect who could help him in that endeavor is Ryan Davis, a consensus four-star wide receiver from St. Petersburg Lakewood.

Davis received a visit from McElwain and secondary coach Travaris Robinson at his high school and home during the contact period earlier this month.

“It was great,” Davis said of meeting McElwain. “I was impressed by him and learned a lot. He has a great personality. He’s a real laid back coach, straight forward.

“We talked about everything he has accomplished and what he wants to do at Florida — his plans, his goals and his vision for the program. He also brought up some of his past players and what he did with them. It was nice to hear.”

One player McElwain mentioned to Davis was Colorado State wideout Rashard Higgins, a Biletnikoff Award finalist who leads the nation in receiving yards (1,750) and touchdowns (17).

“I kind of already knew about him,” Davis said of Higgins. “What I liked is that coach McElwain didn’t brag about him and how he made him a finalist. He just told me his hard work got him there and the scheme is there for anybody to do what he did. But he gave his player the credit.”

McElwain believes Davis, a Rivals100 member, can have similar success in his offensive system.

“He told me I’m a dynamic player based on what he’s seen off my film,” Davis said. “He could use me in the offense he plans on having and really likes what I bring to the game — explosiveness, big plays and the ability to make people miss.

“If the team needs a spark, he’ll throw me a little bubble screen and I could take it to the end zone. He thinks I would be a crowd favorite.”

Davis, who visited Florida a few times in the fall, has only made one official visit so far (Maryland). He plans to take a few more in January and said he may decide on signing day.

The 5-foot-10, 167-pounder holds more than 30 offers but will announce five finalists soon. UF is expected to make the cut.

“Me and coach McElwain definitely have a bond,” Davis said. “It’s not perfect just yet, but we’ll get there. His main thing is just trying to build a relationship with me and my parents.

“He let them know how he feels about me during my in-home visit, and my dad loved him. He wants to get to know him more as signing day gets closer.”

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  1. Davis is one guy that I do think UF has a good chance of getting. He’s the younger brother of a former FSU player, but I don’t think they have room for him. I think if Davante Phillips, a former UF commit who is supposed to announce this week, picks FSU as expected, the chance of UF getting him is very good.

  2. James, What do you expect? It’s unrealistic to think that a no name coach, almost all of the recruits have never heard of him, is going to come in and spend one week (the time before the dead period) and then suddenly he is going to get everyone that has never even met him think UF is a perfect fit. If UF gets any of the top guys in Florida it will be amazing. Let’s see if UF gets anyone before the dead period ends Jan. 15. If UF does, it will be an amazing feat. You can’t expect a program that has had only one pledge in four months to suddenly have players falling over themselves to come. I think it’s time to temper expectations for this class and try to get great one next year.

  3. Aux you’re correct at saying one week isn’t enough time but there are some players announcing at bowl games that could easily go orange and blue (some kid named Ivey?). But in all seriousness this doesn’t happen overnight, and if you think it will just turn off the rivals/247/scout memberships till February! 🙂

  4. Not one of us knows how this will turn out. However, it’s likely we add handful of these elite 5-star and 4-star prospects, beginning with two to even four announcements during the upcoming all star games. Gators on this site ought to be encouraged by the persevering interest in Florida by Ivey, Cowart, Jefferson, Holland and Ryan Davis, and a few others. Coach Mack likely will land most of the above. The coaching change and first two staff hires are clear signals that the direction has turned positively toward a bright future for the Gator program. These prospective guys are competitive and confident. A number of them will choose to be leaders of a Florida football renaissance. We’ll see maybe two to four big declarations during the upcoming all star games. No worries, mates.

  5. Aux we didn’t have to get a “no name coach” as you yourself wrote. That was Foley’s fault. Remember the days reading headlines about Percy, Jarvis Moss, Joe Cohen giving us verbals? I do. Now the headlines are recruits are “impressed”. Oh my as MicK Hubert would say- the times have changed.

  6. Well first I would not say he is a “no name coach”, next all of those “name” coaches were either happy where they are employed or rally just a “name” and not a decent coach for UF. I also think that UF does have a reputation and smart players understand that coaches (especially position coaches) do move around. I expect our class to be fair and not great, anything better than that is great.

  7. As I’ve said several times before,,, ‘No worries mates’…. ;~)

    No name = 2 BCS-NC’s as the Bama OC?
    No name = MWC CoY & FFCA FBS Region 5 CoY


    LOI’s on NSD are when we will know and THEN judge the class.

  8. For any who don’t already know: The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) is an association of over 11,000 football coaches and staff on all levels. (but what would they know about coaching, you should just trust the media-morons opinions, or Ox2’s)

    So, claiming that ‘NOBODY KNOWS’ Coach McElwain is pretty ludicrous to me… And I’m thinking that any prospective recruit that can’t google Jim McElwain for ALL of the details should go to ‘Deion Rules’ Clown-U, not to AAU member UF. UF actually has to legitimately keep their STUDENT/athletes ‘Academically Eligible’ to play.

    JFYI — 2014 AFCA Region Coach of Year Winners:
    (the other 5 ‘No-Namers’)
    Region 1 – David Cutcliffe, Duke
    Region 2 – Dan Mullen, MsSt
    Region 3 – Jerry Kill, Minn
    Region 4 – Gary Patterson, TCU
    Region 5 – Jim McElwain, ColoSt
    (Coach Mc only beat out all PAC 12 coaches, among mamy others)

  9. Sounds like this guy would believe any BS thrown out there by ANY coach…”we think you would be a crowd favorite” and “he said I am a dynamic player” . Wow you should have signed right there. BS is getting stacked higher and higher

  10. Yep, and instead of UF, he should maybe go to the HeadBJ on sloppy-drop, Tn? Maybe this is what impressed him about coach Mc.

    “I kind of already knew about him,” Davis said of Higgins. “What I liked is that coach McElwain didn’t brag about him and how he made him a finalist. He just told me his hard work got him there and the scheme is there for anybody to do what he did. >>> But he gave his player the credit.” <<<

  11. Foley landed Billy Donovan (for those who have selective memory) and had the opportunity to bring Spurrier back (after his NFL period), but Bernie M. torpedoed this by telling the Old Ball Coach that he would have to “apply” for the job. I believe Coach Mac will install a dynamic and effective offense that (coupled with our already very good defense) will enable the Gators to complete for the SEC East this coming season. Soon UF will once again be the Beast of the East, needing only to defeat the Best of the West to obtain the SEC title. GO GATORS!!!

  12. “I think it’s time to temper expectations for this class and try to get great one next year.”….aux2, that outlook will NEVER be accepted at UF! The opportunity to bypass the bandwagon and become part of a new championship era at underdog UF is very appealing…see UF’s late 80s struggles and the immediate classes brought in and the resulting success. Here it is months from NSD and you’re suggesting we lay down…wish I could ‘shake your hand.’ LUV UF!

  13. I’ve always thought Cowart was going to UF and his comments from the All-Star game seem to hint that’s still true. He said he was going to wait until signing day, but another comment makes me think he’s really never wavered about going to UF. He said he wants a lot of great players to follow his lead and come with him to his school. In saying so he says he wants a lot of guys to ‘flip” and join him. FSU already has a monster class, they don’t need anyone to ‘flip.” Auburn is doing very well also. The only school that needs a lot of guys to “flip” for a great class is Florida. He says he hasn’t decided yet, but there’s only one school that needs people to “flip,” and that’s Florida. No one is interested in flipping the guys UF now has committed among Cowart’s three finalists. It’s no surprise that a Seffner Armwood guy would go to Florida, but I think this confirms he’s just wanting to be fawned over, but his real choice has never been anywhere but Florida.

  14. Thanks, aux2. I continue getting a strong impression that Cowart and Jefferson and Ivey have remained highly interested in UF , really waiting for sufficient reason to not attend. So far I think Mac is coming up aces. As for our hiring a supposedly lesser coach, our much adored Steve Spurrier wasn’t any better established as a head coach when our favorite som came home to UF. We’ve never gone for a coach with an outsized reputation. Overall our track record is pretty strong. Bama had a string of misses before Saban, who desperately wanted back in college coaching, came along. As with every program we include a fringe of negative doomsayers who get their jollies from denigrating others. Ignore the lot.

  15. ccs I wish that were true. Don’t think the silly nole fans have much to be concerned about as far as the gators go at this point. Be a realist, it hasn’t been this bad in 30 years. We are ranked behind fau and fiu. Pathetic.

  16. James – you are sounding like James Fisher. Patience, it is not signing day. The Gators are in the running for several of the top high school players. I am also seeing on some of the recruiting sites that Gators may be able to flip a few commitments. We are in a dead period, so not much is happening on the recruiting front right now. If we are still ranked behind FAU and FIU after signing day, than you cry that the sky is falling. Obviously with the coaching change this class was probably not going to be a great class, but is still could turn out to be a decent signing day.

  17. NSD needs to include a QB. But not just any QB. A top quality ‘student/athlete/leader’ is what’s needed. IMOHO, we only have one of those on the roster currently, and that’s rsFr Will Grier. While I fully expect him to win the job, they still need a #2 with a future at UF. The good thing is that I could see top QB’s lining up to be coached by the Mc-Nuss combo, considering both of their histories with coaching up successful QB’s.

    Who do you want as the Gator QB and why? Very important to the Gators near future.”I look forward to the day when people are judged by the ‘content of their character’ instead of by the ‘color of their skin.” — MLK

    However, if you judge someone by the ‘content of their character,’ (or the lack thereof) then some will claim that you’re a racist, depending on the color of the one that’s being judged. I believe that people should be judged by the ‘choices’ that they make, and not by the ‘excuses’ that they give for making them. (Wuerffel/Leak/Tebow, that’s the ‘color-less’ UF QB standard)

    I wouldn’t want a Jameous Winston at UF,,, even if he was Gold Plated and never lost a single game. But that’s just me, and opinions will vary….

  18. Re: recruiting, historically first-year classes of new head coaches turn out from poor to decently average. There are exceptions to the rule. We ‘ll hope Mac and Gators pick up some forward momentum in early January. Re : rankings, Florida’s low right now because there are only 8 verbals . Filling out this class alone will move UF into the top 20-30, but more likely the Gators are in the best 15-25 range. However, should about three 5-stars break our way and about the same number of 4-stars it will mark a landscape shift of tilt in Florida and Jim McElwain’s early returns. I’m betting this is the most likely scenario.

  19. And re: first year expectations , I would be pleased to see us bounce back with 8 to 9 wins. Not satisfied at all because I expect our teams to compete for championships annually , but pleased enough for 2015. Muschamp left behind a thin, green OL devoid of seniors unless DJ Humphries changes his mind and returns. We ‘ll be green at QB and, if Treon beats out Grier, he ‘ll have to improve immensely from where he is right now for us to take a step forward offensively. It might take a year or two for Mac to recruit and develop enough quality and depth on offense. Muschamp gets credit for running an apparently clean program and having good defensive hits. His best recruits were bunched up mostly on defense and his staffing misfires and lack of offensive direction have left us seriously challenged throughout his tenure and for the immediate future . SEC East is soft enough that we could surprise in ’15. I’m hoping so.

  20. We want kids who regardless who the head coach is or what assistants he has want to be Gators! Those that bleed orange and blue. Are good citizens good students and great players! If you’re not a Gator, you’re gator bait!

  21. Just makes sense. Teams with no seniors up front, especially 5th-year guys, seldom win championships. Our 2015 Gators have only ONE lineman who will be more than a sophomore. Plus a really inexperienced QB. It’s gonna be awfully hard to go better than 7-5. Things should improve a bunch in 2016-17.