Recruit report: What 4-star WR Quaydarius Davis would bring to KU football
photo by: Journal-World illustration
Especially in this instance, it would be easy to get lost in the recruiting rank when discussing four-star receiver Quaydarius Davis from Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas
Davis, who verbally committed to play football for the University of Kansas on Saturday, is a big get for Les Miles and his staff. Davis is rated by Rivals as the No. 5 receiver in the entire Class of 2021 and is considered the 36th-best overall prospect in the country.
While his commitment is a non-binding pledge, Davis would become the highest-rated recruit to join the Jayhawks since Rivals began ranking players in 1999. But that doesn’t really explain the type of player KU is getting, if Davis does end up signing his national letter of intent to the program in February.
So let’s take a closer look at the potential Jayhawk. For the purpose of this report, I tracked down as much film as I could find over the weekend using Hudl, YouTube and Twitter.
It won’t be as good as watching full games, but it will provide more information on what Davis does well as a player and what he could ultimately bring to KU.
Body type/athletic ability: Davis is listed at 6-foot and 193 pounds. He’s already thick in his shoulders and chest, but will add more muscle in college. Davis has really good acceleration and his explosiveness is evident when he’s got the ball in his hands.
Strengths: Hands, body control and yards after the catch
I wouldn’t blame someone for thinking they were watching the same three plays on Davis’ senior year Hudl film. Skyline did a lot of throwing the ball up to Davis and letting him go make a play on the ball. It is not a bad strategy when a team has a receiver as talented as Davis.
Davis won’t be able to do that in the Big 12, but I thought it highlighted some of his biggest strengths as a prospect. Davis simply has really good hands and excellent body control. Most of Davis’ best plays came because he was able to adjust to a ball in the air, finding a way to come down with the grab. The combination of those two traits is why Davis is able to make all those difficult catches look so easy.
When Davis wasn’t running straight down the field and catching a jump ball on his highlight film, he was usually making defenders miss after a screen or short pass. There was one noteworthy example of this, in which Davis leaped over a defender on his way to a game-winning touchdown last December.
Davis’ ability to essentially turn into a running back after the catch is not a trait that a lot of receivers have. In fact, Davis was even used as a running back by Skyline. It is something that makes players like AJ Brown of the Tennessee Titans so successful at the NFL level, and a quality that could lead to some big plays for Davis in Lawrence.
Weaknesses: Route running and maybe blocking?
Davis didn’t exactly demonstrate a full route tree on any of his highlight videos. That’s not really a knock, because so few high school prospects come out as crisp route runners. And, as mentioned earlier, Davis did have a ton of success winning jump balls and making plays after the catch.
That said, Davis did face a lot of off coverage in the tape I watched. That was obviously because of the threat of his speed, but Davis’ inefficient footwork prevented him from creating separation at times. This is something that I expect KU receivers coach Emmett Jones, who played a key role in landing Davis, will be able to fix when Davis does get to Lawrence.
It is also worth noting how few blocking plays were available on any of Davis’ highlight videos. It is hard to know for certain what Davis can provide as a blocker, but I’m guessing that will be an area where he has room for improvement. He certainly has the physical traits to have success as a blocker, I just didn’t see anything to suggest that is already a big part of his game.
Overall thoughts and projection: These recruit reports will always lean toward reasons for optimism. I just think it is more important to focus on what a prospect does well, rather than what an 18-year-old can’t do on the football field.
But Davis would be a big-time addition to the KU football program.
Just think about how often Kansas had some screen pass concepts incorporated in this RPO-system under Brent Dearmon. For that reason alone, Davis would be a contributor on this offense whenever he got the opportunity. Davis can play inside or out, so he would likely make an impact early in his career.
There are obviously still concerns about who would be throwing Davis the ball and if the quarterback has enough time to even get it to him. Those questions will certainly have to be answered.
Davis is legit, though, and KU fans should be counting down the days until he can sign.