Did UGA get some good news about another top RB on Sunday?
Maybe so, maybe not. We’re not quite sure. But it could change again any minute. It’s that time of year again, the final stretch of recruiting where anything can and will happen before kids sign on the dotted line on February’s national signing day.
The top RB is Stephenson High School’s Mike Davis, who recently de-committed from Florida for undisclosed reasons after being pledged to the Gators for nearly a year. He was quickly offered by UGA and made an unofficial visit with the Bulldogs. Davis is such a priority to Mark Richt that he spent an entire practice attached to his hip.
Fast forward to Sunday: Mike Davis showed up for the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio, and did a round of interviews with reporters.
UGA fans got excited when Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell reported this:
RB Mike Davis came out and said Georgia is his leader and if he was to announce this weekend it would have been them, but he has decided against that now. Will visit South Carolina, Georgia and Clemson before he decides. Georgia in driver’s seat.
A couple of hours later, PalmettoSports.com reported this:
In a series of text messages, Davis denied telling Rivals he had a favorite. When asked who he had named as a favorite, Davis replied, “Nobody.” When told that Rivals reported he had disclosed Georgia as his favorite, Davis replied, “No.” When asked as a follow up if he had disclosed a favorite, Davis replied, “No.” Davis has made it known he has made his decision. A source said earlier this week the decision came down to USC and Georgia.
Then, a couple of hours later, we had some video evidence. Maybe this would clarify everything? It actually didn’t, because apparently the same questions weren’t asked. However, there were a couple of new ones that supported the UGA-endorsed conspiracy theories. During an video interview with Rivals, Davis was asked which school he would pick if he had to sign this weekend?
Davis: “If it was this weekend, I wouldn’t know … it would probably be UGA if it was this weekend … but I wouldn’t know yet.”
Mike Farrell of Rivals: “Right now, it’s safe to say UGA is probably the team to beat?”
Davis: “It’s somewhat like that … then again, I’m leaving it open for those five schools.” [Davis lists his finalists as UGA and South Carolina, along with Clemson, FSU and Tennessee]
Finally, we traded our own texts messages with Davis in an effort to set the record straight.
AJC: There was a Rivals story saying you named UGA as your leader. Yes or no?
AJC: When asked in a video interview about which school you would pick if you had to sign today, you said “it would probably be UGA.” Do you still feel that way? Or differently?
Davis: I don’t have a response.
In fairness to Davis, these types of recruiting issues are all new to him. He committed to the Florida Gators last February, and laid low for nearly a full year, only backing off from the Gators a few weeks ago. This is a new ballgame for Davis.
At the time, Davis declined to go into details about his messy divorce from Florida. However, Davis was full of surprises on Sunday. Maybe it was the Texas weather? Davis spoke candidly about his de-commitment in the video interview with Rivals:
Rivals: “How hard was it to de-commit from Florida?”
Davis: “It wasn’t that hard to de-commit once I found out some things going on down there, things I was told by the coaching staff … it wasn’t hard.”
Rivals: “What were you told?”
Davis: “I was told they weren’t going to recruit anybody outside of me and Matt Jones [RB from Seffner, Fla., committed to Florida]. I asked about it, and they said I was never going to hear about it again. Then it was brought back up. And then, only one coach was sent to my house. But the next day, you send a whole coaching staff to another running back’s house, then there’s something wrong.”
We assume Davis was referring to Florida’s flirtation with Keith Marshall, the 5-star RB from Raleigh, N.C., who committed to UGA over Clemson, while also considering Florida and South Carolina. What about that? How will Marshall committing to UGA affect the Bulldogs’ chances of landing Davis, too? Davis claims it won’t.
UGA is desperately seeking to sign at least two running backs this year, and maybe more. There’s even a “UGA’s Four Horsemen” photo of Isaiah Crowell, Mike Davis, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley circulating on the Internet. You can look at the graphic here. Gurley, who is from Tarboro, N.C., has UGA and North Carolina, along with Clemson and NC State, on his shortlist.
Back to Davis: He is scheduled to announce on Jan. 31. Davis told reporters last week that he already knew which school he was going to pick, but wouldn’t name the college. He has already taken official visits to Tennessee and Florida State, and has recruiting trips scheduled for South Carolina on Jan. 13, UGA on Jan. 20 and Clemson on Jan. 27.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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