The feedback about his recruiting tape was mostly the same for Sean Davis, a defensive back and rising senior at Maret. College coaches were interested in what they saw – a 6-foot-1, 175-pound player with 4.42 speed – but they made same observation.
“Some of them have been saying, ‘We’ve never heard of your school,’ and, ‘The competition doesn’t look that great,’” Davis said. “That just gave me motivation to work harder and push harder at camps.”
In the past two weeks, that effort has paid off. In that time, Davis has pulled in four verbal scholarships offers, including ones from Division I schools such as Boston College and Connecticut after he caught the eye of college coaches at their camps. On Sunday, Maryland offered Davis following their camp.
And with more schools interested, such as North Carolina, Davis is shaping up to be perhaps the most highly recruited football player to come out of Maret, a private school with over 600 K-12 students in the District.
Because of the school’s size, its weaker conference competition and its lack of football pedigree, Davis has had to make a name for himself at football camps for prospective recruits held at larger colleges. Two weeks ago, he attended a camp at North Carolina as a practically anonymous recruit, not even on the coaches’ recruiting list. But after he worked out and ran well, he left with a strong sense that he could be offered soon.
“I’ve had highly recruited kids but in the Patriot League and Ivy League,” said Mike Engelberg, who is in his fifth year as Maret’s football coach. “I've never had a kid offered by BCS schools, especially this early in the game.”
The last Maret player to play football at a Division I school was Cornell Parker, who played at Southern Methodist in the early 1990’s, Engelberg said.
When he started at Maret three years ago, Davis was a tiny 5-foot-7, 125-pound freshman. Thanks to a growth spurt and the help of his mother, a nutritionist, Davis has grown and bulked with up with protein shakes, vitamins and four meals a day, and daily lifting and running. “I'm just glad it's all paying off,” he said.
Davis said that training and playing on a seven-on-seven passing league team with standout players from his native Prince George’s County, such as Ron Darby of Potomac (Md.) and Levern and Taivon Jacobs, of Suitland, has helped him develop.
Last season, Davis was Maret’s most dynamic player, taking snaps under center as a running back and also lining up as a receiver. In five games, he rushed 45 times for 492 yards and six touchdowns and caught 24 balls for 381 yards and two touchdowns. Even though he played free safety on Maret’s defense, college coaches are recruiting Davis as a cornerback because he possess the size that has become the norm at that position.
Davis, who also has a handful of offers from schools such as Towson, Ohio and Marshall, said he hopes to sift through all the scholarships soon, visit the schools with his parents and choose one by late July. It’s a wholly different situation than the one he was in as a small incoming freshman at Maret three years ago.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “But I’m just excited.”