Peter Quaweay spent the 2008 football season as the defensive coordinator at Potomac (Md.) where he got to work with cornerback Ronald Darby, then a freshman with rare physical talents and little polish at the position.
When Quaweay moved on to take the head job at Friendly the next year, Darby began traveling to the Fort Washington school periodically in the offseason to train. Darby’s commitment to learning under Quaweay, a former Michigan State cornerback and college defensive backs coach, paid off in a scholarship to Florida State, and in the fall, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
With a 4.3 second 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical leap, Friendly junior RaVon Davis fits the same mold. With one year of high school left, Quaweay believes Davis is headed on a similar path toward major college football now that he’s turned around his performance in the classroom.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback recently garnered offers from Temple and Coastal Carolina, and he has a host of other schools carefully monitoring his academic progress, according to Quaweay.
“He reminds me of that kid [Darby] but with better hands,” Quaweay said. “He’s probably one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around.”
Daivs’s future hasn’t always looked so bright. As a freshman, he earned a promotion to Friendly’s varsity squad for the playoffs, but his struggling grades soon set back his progress on the football field.
Davis’s freshman year cumulative grade point average tumbled below the 2.0 minimum, leaving him ineligible to play his sophomore season.
Quaweay allowed Davis to stay around the team, encouraging him to attend its year-round three-times-per-week study hall sessions. Still, the cornerback missed suiting up with the Patriots.
“I’ve been playing football my whole life,” Davis said. “It was hard to see my teammates play and know that I could be helping them out and making them better. I wanted to be getting better.”
Even though he had little game tape before this season, Davis garnered attention thanks to his eye-popping measurables. Quaweay said the speedster was clocked with a 4.37 second 40-yard dash at Maryland’s camp last summer.
In his first year of varsity competition, Davis scored 15 total touchdowns in 11 games for the Patriots, including five on special teams. He also registered four interceptions.
Longtime followers of the team have pointed out to Quaweay that many of Davis’s best marks for speed and strength are better than former Friendly All-Met and current NFL cornerback Joe Haden at the same age.
Boston College, James Madison and Towson are among the schools expressing heavy interest, keeping a close eye on his improving transcript, according to the coach.
Temple invited him to its spring game last month and offered him on the visit. The Coastal Carolina offer came last Wednesday. He’s planning to stay active on the camp circuit this summer with the hope of further boosting his profile.
“RaVon’s going to get a boatload of offers after this summer,” Quaweay said. “That’s a guarantee.”
Quaweay wouldn’t have made a declaration like that last year at this time, but Davis has turned his life around off the field in recent months.
Last year, Davis managed to bump his grades up enough to become eligible for the fall, and he’s posted even better marks in the classroom in his junior year. He said he earned a 3.0 grade point average in the most recent quarter, and he’s hoping to get a 3.5 on his final report card of the school year. He’ll take a math course this summer, as well.
Quaweay, who taught Davis in a freshman U.S. history class, said the youngster has always had the ability to be successful in school but his home life lacked structure. He praised Davis for sticking it out when walking away from school altogether might have been easier.
“Just staying consistent and doing my best to hang around the right people,” Davis said of the changes that have put him on the road toward college.
In other Friendly recruiting news, junior Alameen Murphy has added offers from Syracuse, Arizona, Wake Forest, Harvard and James Madison to bring his total up to eight. A member of the National Honor Society, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback also has offers from Stanford, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.