No. 132: Marcus Davis, No.7, Virginia Tech, Wide Receiver
No, Davis' stats don't line up with some of the other receivers' numbers on this list. That's okay, though. This kid is setting up to be the real deal for the Hokies. Both he and Logan Thomas return, and since VPI is green at the running back position, the onus will be on these two young men to work on carrying the offense through the pass game.
Size is the first positive you see when you look at Marcus Davis. He's a 6'4", almost 230-pound kid who can run well. With that size comes power, the ability to get separation with his body and hold off defensive backs with an arm or a shoulder to give him a chance to catch the football.
As great as Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin were playing for the Hokies, Marcus Davis is a real problem for defenses when he gets going. The catch he made against Virginia over the very-highly-rated Chase Minnifield tells the story: Even while being interfered with, Davis is strong enough to shake off the jersey grab, go up and make the catch.
There are a lot of 6'4" wide receivers out there, but there are not a lot of 6'4" wide receivers out there capable of shrugging off a corner, grabbing their jersey and making the tough catch.
The little things. All of the little things.
Davis came to Virginia Tech as a standout high school football quarterback. Physically, his tools are as refined as a player can get. Unfortunately, the nuance of the wide receiver position still escapes him at times—catching the football first, running crisp routes and knowing when to sprint and when to sit down on a route. Before Davis can use any of his physical tools, he has to secure the catch—something that has frustrated Virginia Tech fans more than a time or two.
As far as running better routes and knowing when to sit or go, Virginia Tech spent four seasons watching Danny Coale be an expert at this craft. Now, Marcus Davis is still learning how to find the holes in a defense and exploit them. This weakness is a difficult one to address for a player who only has a year to prove he's learned the skill.
Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin are gone, and that means Marcus Davis is going to be the go-to guy for the Hokies. This is year five for Davis, and it has to be the season where everything comes together for him. That means getting on the same page with Logan Thomas and making good things happen.
Expect Davis to get over the 60-catch mark and probably push close to 70 catches, as the Hokies will lean on the senior for production in crunch time. Virginia Tech does not exactly churn out 1,000-yard wide receivers, but Davis has a great shot to buck that trend if he can secure the balls thrown his way.