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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