Gamecocks land top RB target Mike Davis

Davis ranked as high as nation's fifth-best running back

Special to GoGamecocksJanuary 13, 2012 

Mike Davis

PHOTO COURESTY OF U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN GAME

Stephenson High (Ga.) running back Mike Davis made a public commitment to South Carolina on Friday night.

Davis announced the news via Twitter. He is the 24th pledge for USC's Class of 2012 and 11th from the state of Georgia.

Davis, who had been committed to Florida, said he actually decided on the Gamecocks a week after dropping the Gators. He broke the news to Steve Spurrier on Friday night.

“South Carolina was one of the first schools to offer me, and even though I was committed to Florida, they stayed on me heavily,” Davis said. “I like the fact they run the ball a lot. They don’t put their running backs in bad situations. I met with Coach Spurrier tonight and I think it’s going to be great. It’s going to be fun with the 1-2 punch of me and (Marcus) Lattimore.”

Former Clemson star James Davis is with younger brother Mike on his official visit.

“My brother is happy for my decision,” Mike said. “But he’s a Clemson Tiger at heart.”

Davis was one of the nation’s top uncommitted running backs. He is on his official visit at South Carolina this weekend with 15 other high school seniors who had already pledged to the Gamecocks.

He and Lexington wide receiver Shaq Roland are the highest-rated players in the Gamecocks' upcoming class.

More to know about Davis

-- Height and weight: 5-foot-9, 200 pounds

-- Stats: 1,923 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns as a senior; 1,200 yards, 14 scores as a junior

-- The stars: He’s a four-star prospect by all recruiting services, including being ranked as the fifth-best running back by 247Sports and sixth-best by Rivals.

-- School: Talent-rich Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga.

-- Sports facts: USC had two commits already from Stephenson seniors – defensive tackle Carlos Hood and defensive back Kyle Fleetwood. Current Gamecock Kadetrix Marcus is a Stephenson alum.

-- Sports facts 2: USC now has two committed running backs in this class with Davis and Kendric Salley (5-foot-10, 210) from Williston-Elko High.

-- Big honor: Played last weekend in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas

What the analysts say

-- Chad Simmons, Scout.com national recruiting analyst: “He is a natural running back. He really runs at his pace, he shows very good patience, he knows how to let holes develop, and he has vision that cannot be taught. He is not a guy with that second gear down the field, but when the hole opens, he hits it quickly, and he is hits it hard. He runs with good pad level, too, allowing him to get a lot of yards after contact. It is easy to see his talent. He is not a flashy back, but a very strong, and productive back. He is not always looking to make guys miss, but to run through them.”

-- Barton Simmons, 247 Sports national recruiting analyst: “Mike Davis might be the most complete back in the country. He has the size to be an every-down back. He's a tough north-south runner. He can catch the ball. He’s very comfortable and enthusiastic about the blocking game. He’s a three-down back who you don't have to take out of the game who can carry the workload and really be the horse. ... I think he fits their offense well. They’ve been recruiting him throughout. He’s expressed an interest in coming in and sort of being Marcus Lattimore’s understudy and helping take some of the load off of Lattimore, while being able to contribute in his own right. It’s a situation he seems to feel very comfortable with.”

-- Mike Farrell, Rivals national recruiting analyst: “He was better than I expected him to be down at Army, a little faster than I thought he would be. I knew he was a productive running back in high school, a guy that ran low to the ground and bounced off people. His burst in speed kind of surprised me a little bit. He’s like a little bowling ball, very fast and very hard to tackle. And he can catch the ball out of the backfield.”

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