The summer of Lincoln Riley continued today when elite cornerback Jaden Davis officially announced his commitment to Oklahoma. The 4-star product out of St. Thomas Aquinas had offers from a whopping 43 schools, including numerous blue bloods such as Florida, Miami and Clemson.
On film, it’s clear why Davis is among the nation’s top defensive backs (he is currently ranked as the No. 24 corner in the 2019 class by 247) . The 5’10, 165 pound senior is fast, physical and able to play virtually anywhere in the defensive secondary. His junior year highlights showcase his ability to play in the nickel or on an island on the outside.
Regardless of where he lines up, Davis is keen to take away space at the line of scrimmage. He is then able to flip his hips and run with slot receivers and wide outs alike. In his junior highlights, Davis also shows a willingness to crash into the backfield to breakup screens and sweeps. This skillset allowed the corner to put up solid numbers in his junior campaign. According to MaxPreps, highlights included 25 tackles and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Davis is such a versatile asset and it comes as no surprise when reading up on his background. Despite playing varsity ball for the University School as an eighth grader, Davis was relegated to the freshman team at STA when he transferred to start his high school career. In response, Davis became a three-way star for the Raiders, playing corner, quarterback, punter and even kick returner. After showcasing his athleticism for a year, he made the Varsity team as a Sophomore.
At Oklahoma, we can expect to see Davis primarily in the nickel position. Despite playing more on the inside as a junior, Davis knows he has a ways to go before he’s ready to compete with elite slot receivers and tight ends in the Big XII on a weekly basis. This was a realization he came to at Nike’s showcase “The Opening,” which took place earlier this month.
Davis discussed his experience at The Opening with RJ Young on a podcast a couple of weeks back, and it is 100% worth the listen. If you don’t have the time, though, the takeaways are this: Davis is a charismatic, intelligent kid with a high football IQ, that flat out loves to compete. During the ~30 minute interview, you can hear Davis talk scheme, technique and how seriously he’s taking a full-time transition to nickel.
(You also hear him talk about how talented that Spencer Rattler -led championship team was. Apparently trying to cover Austin Stogner as a 5’10” true corner is just as challenging as you think it would be).
With another 4-star commitment, Oklahoma has further cemented its 2019 class as one of the nation’s best. Davis marks the 16th hard commitment for Riley and Co., 12 of which are now ranked 4-star or better. Most encouragingly, 5 of those elite commitments come on the defensive side of the ball, an area where Oklahoma has obviously struggled over the past several years. With elite talent coming in on both sides of the ball, the Sooners look to remain a national force for years to come.