Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – ranked No. 4 nationally – featured 25 signees from 11 states. Many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes’ success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our “Young Bucks” series. Next up: cornerback Wayne Davis.
Who is he?
Davis is a player casual Ohio State fans might not know despite his status as a 4-star prospect because his recruitment played out in a quiet fashion with little drama.
He’s someone Buckeye fans should get to know, however. He comes from Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor, one of the most accomplished football teams in Virginia and the program that produced Ohio State defensive end Jalyn Holmes. During Davis’ high school career, Lake Taylor won two state football championships and finished as a runner-up once.
That was due in no small part to the play of Davis, who was named both Gatorade Player of the Year and Associated Press Player of the Year for Virginia in 2015. As a senior, he was a first-team all-state selection at both wide receiver and defensive back. His defensive play was especially impressive, as he finished with 41 tackles and seven interceptions, five of which he returned for touchdowns. He also recorded five interceptions as a junior in 2014.
- Height: 5 feet 10
- Weight: 190
- Number: 15
- Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
- High School: Lake Taylor
- Composite Ranking: 33 (Cornerback)
- High School Highlights
Davis’ recruitment ultimately came down to Ohio State and Virginia Tech, with many giving the Hokies the edge because of location and defensive back pedigree.
Instead, he committed to the Buckeyes on July 9.
”When I went up there (in 2014) for the Cincinnati game, I felt at home already,” he told Scout.com. “I really liked the trip more than any other one I took during the recruiting process. I was really impressed by the way the players and coaches grind and compete.”
What does he bring to Ohio State?
Davis, a pure cornerback, gives the Buckeyes a player who comes into the program with a fundamentally sound base of skills. As noted above, he’s a ballhawk who finds ways to force turnovers despite teams rarely throwing to his side of the field, which is illustrated by his small number of tackles.
He has good speed and moves his hips well, which should serve him well at the college level. He will probably need to get stronger to work his way into the rotation, however.
He also displays a keen fashion sense, as evidenced by this amazing choice in clothing.
— Wayne Davis Jr (@Waynedavis1_) January 18, 2016
Will he play as a freshman?
Davis said he chose Ohio State, in part, because of a possibility he could play nickel back as a freshman, but a crowded defensive backfield will probably make it difficult for him to play much in 2016.
If he does want to avoid a redshirt, special teams will likely be the best opportunity. When Ohio State coach Urban Meyer mentioned 11 true freshmen who stood out as having a chance to play this fall, Davis was not among them.
While he may not play right away, his pedigree and past performance suggest he’ll ultimately make a name for himself at Ohio State.