Justin Davis Scouting Report: One Of The Best Backs Out West

Justin Davis has established himself as probably the most coveted running back on the West Coast. This, after a junior season at Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln High School that saw him accumulate over 2,600 yards and 39 touchdowns rushing. Those accomplishments have led to him to receive offers from close to 20 BCS programs, including USC, UCLA, California, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Florida State, and Washington. He stands 6'0" and weighs in at 195 pounds. He is a consensus four-star recruit. No timetable for a commitment at this time, but USC is rumored to sit in good position at this relatively early stage in his recruitment.

Positives

  • Agility: Moves well laterally and stays on balance through lower body contact
  • Burst: First-step quickness is somewhat obscured by his stride length. But it's definitely there. Good burst out of cuts.
  • Vision: Consistently sees the backside crease.

Questions

  • Upright running style: Exposes his frame and invites a larger degree of punishment.
  • Lower body strength

Davis is a taller back with very good agility, especially for a more angular runner. He is a bit thin up top and through his lower half, but has a wide enough frame to be able to eventually get up to around 215 pounds while retaining his speed and quickness. Davis is a runner who exhibits patience and an advanced understanding of how to set up his blocks, especially for someone who would be classified as a "speed" back. He has plus level vision that allows him to see and exploit backside creases. On off tackle runs Davis has the burst to turn the corner, and once he's reached second level will cut inside against the angles of over pursuing defenders who have overcompensated for his ability to threaten the edge.

Davis shows some creativity in the open field but at times will take an instant to gather himself before changing direction due to him being a long strider. On traps or plays that utilize pulling guards, Davis will press the edge, forcing the linebacker who is trying to fill the gap to take a lateral step outside putting him into the path on the oncoming lineman, Davis will then stick his outside foot in the ground and cut back inside at the precise moment the pulling guard has initiated contact with the defender, opening a wider seam to exploit.

Between the tackles, however, is Davis' sweet spot as a runner. He can explode vertically through a crease into the secondary, or press the play-side hole and bounce outside once the linebackers have lost their gap integrity. Davis does, however, need to run with more velocity in between the tackles and with a lower pad level. This, in addition to packing on added weight (especially in his lower body), will improve his consistency as an every down runner. Davis' pass catching ability is a bit of an unknown at this point. He will obviously need to become more adept in that area in order to become a true every down back.

Justin Davis RB #22 Junior Season 2011 Highlights Lincoln-Stockton (via buckstucky1)

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