Clemson, Rutgers among the schools after Quince Orchard’s Elliott Davis


Quince Orchard’s Elliott Davis, seen here trying to make a touchdown catch against Sherwood last fall, has picked up scholarship offers from eight schools in the past three weeks, including Clemson and Rutgers. (Photo by Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

Following his performance at Donnie Zimmerman’s Best of DMV Showcase last month, Quince Orchard’s Elliott Davis said he was approached by a Towson assistant coach, who expressed interest in the skills of the rising senior wide receiver and defensive back. It was the first real suitor for Davis this spring, and little did he know – with no scholarship offers on the table – that it would spark a blaze of offers in the next three weeks.

It must have been the “edgy side” he showed on both sides of the ball during the showcase, Davis thought, because within days Clemson offered him a scholarship to play defensive back. A few days after, Buffalo entered the picture with an offer for Davis to play wide receiver. And in the days after that, Rutgers, James Madison, Fordham, Bryant, UNC-Charlotte and Duquesne all extended offers to the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder.

He has quickly transformed into one of the more highly-sought skill position players in Maryland, a speedster who offers ability on both sides of the ball and in the kick return game. And he’s confident that with the heightened expectations, his recruiting stock will continue to elevate in the coming months.

“When people look at me, I don’t have the hugest frame. But I got a big heart,” Davis said. “No matter who I go against, no matter if the dude is two inches taller than me, 20 pounds bigger than me, you know, I’m going to lock him down. That’s what I’m telling myself in my mind.”

Davis said “he opened a lot of coaches’ eyes” last month, but there is still work to be done when he takes the field this fall for the Cougars, who return a strong core of athletes in the secondary. Recruits Malcolm Brown and Kyle Gregory will play alongside Davis in the defensive backfield, and Brown will double-down at receiver. Davis started last season seeing time on both sides of the ball, but he suffered a sprained ankle in the third week of the season against Paint Branch while playing safety and was relegated to the offensive side of the ball for the rest of the year. And he was productive there, catching 23 passes for 384 yards and two touchdowns for a team that lost junior starting quarterback Mike Murtaugh to a torn ACL early in the year.

Murtaugh is back in the fold for his senior year, and in turn Davis should expect his numbers to rise. He’ll have to balance his play on the field with the newfound recruiting attention off it. He has visited three campuses so far this year – Rutgers, Towson and just last week Maryland, which is showing interest alongside North Carolina State and Boston College.

He talks with those schools “just about every day,” he said, and he feels he can be an asset anywhere on the field. And with much more to prove, including making a name as a player who brings durability to the table, he plans on attending camps and visiting more college campuses this summer.

“When people ask me what [position] I prefer, I mean, my answer is always: It doesn’t matter,” Davis said. “As long as I’m playing football, it doesn’t matter where I’m at on the field.”

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.

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Preston Williams · June 12, 2013