Noor Davis is a physically matured OLB prospect from The Villages, Florida that virtually had offers from every school in the country. He had the entire package of grades, athleticism, versatility, productivity, and future potential. With that in mind, Davis was very easy to recruit for any school, including Stanford.
But how will Davis and his skills transition to Stanford and the college game? Let's look into that.
Noor Davis is long, loose and athletic. Davis is listed at 6'4" - 225. And looks like it. Maybe he is 6'3" and some change. But he is very close evaluating him off tape. He also has a great frame to put on more weight, strength and size without compromising his movement ability. Most importantly from a frame perspective, he has incredibly long arms. And in today's game of football, arm length for any player, but particularly players that play near the line of scrimmage and again particularly on the edges is critical. And Davis has that.
Davis is tailor made for to be a 34 OLB or a 43 Sam LB. Despite the differences in vernacular, the positions are essentially the same.
The Villages is Class 1A football in the state of Florida. The state of Florida has some of the best football in the country, maybe the best. But Class 1A is far from that. It might as well not be in the state of Florida it is that much of a drop. So despite Davis and his ability, there is likely to be some adjustment to the college game for him. It will be particularly interesting to watch Davis play in some of the post-season all-star games to watch how he matches up with a considerably higher level of competition and consistency in players on one field.
That being said, I don't expect Davis to struggle much with his transition to the college game. Davis has all the of the necessary tools to transition easily as he learns along the way. Also playing on the edge as an OLB is a slightly easier transition than coming into play inside LB. The game is pretty one-dimensional at the OLB as opposed to playing ILB/MLB. But the physical tools needed to play on the edge are more necessary. A bit of tradeoff. Fortunately for Davis, he is blessed.
Davis displays a ton of athleticism and a nice ability to accelerate and change directions to track. This is particularly impressive for a player with length. Typically the longer players can't get in and out of breaks and cuts as easily, one of the few drawbacks of being long. That does not apply as much to Davis.
Davis is a not huge striker. But he is not bad at all. He is more of a run and chase player. And he covers a ton of ground with his strides when he opens up.
Davis plays well with his hands....and will only get better in time. Again he has the natural length in arms, which is critical for a SAM LB.
As a pass rusher, Davis is okay. I think he will fine in time. But right now, most of his pressures and sacks are pretty much free rushes. Again the Class 1A competition is not good, at all. Davis is not Chase Thomas. But now with his commitment to Stanford, and the potential to be paired up with Thomas for one year, he needs to be picking Chase's brain constantly. The potential for Davis is there. At least to be good. Will be interesting to see how Davis fairs in the Under Armour All-Star Game in 1 on 1 pass rush/pro this coming January.
Overall, and obviously, Noor Davis is a huge commitment for Stanford. Both individually and collectively. Davis is a perfect fit for Stanford in every way as a student, athlete, and a student-athlete. Specifically as a player, Davis is pretty much a more athletic Donnie Spragen with more potential. Collectively, with Davis's commitment, Stanford has its third Rivals100 commitment for its current three man 2012 commitment class. The recruiting world is going to take notice.
And don't think for a moment that other recruits won't be paying attention either. Recruits in football realize that their productivity is in many ways mutually tied to the ability and productivity of their teammates. Hence the clustering that is commonly seen among the nation's elite prospects on an annual basis. Stanford has always been unique in its recruiting. But it is not above clustering the nation's elite players and replicating what a few select national programs have been doing for years.