Will Davis is one of the most intriguing small-school prospects in the entire 2013 NFL draft. While Utah State plays in a mid-major conference, I don't consider it anywhere near a major powerhouse.
That being said, last season was really good to this program. Both Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin made impacts for the Seattle Seahawks as rookies.
Can Davis continue what has been somewhat of a trend as it relates to Utah State sending pro-ready prospects to the NFL?
Let's take a look at five things you simply must know about the talented young cornerback.
Full Name: William Davis (May 8, 1990)
Hometown: Spokane, Washington
High School: Central Valley High School in Spokane, Washington
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Davis wasn't recruited by any major school following a standout one-year high school career. He did sign on with Western Washington University, but the football program folded following his redshirt freshman season.
Davis then enrolled at De Anza College, a community college in Central California. After two seasons of JUCO play, Davis received multiple scholarship offers. He chose Utah State over other mid-major programs such as San Jose State and Southern Illinois (via Rivals.com).
Davis graduated from Utah State this past December.
2011 (Junior): 13 games, 34 tackles, 21 solo and six passes broken up.
2012 (Senior): 13 games, 64 tackles, 46 solo, 22 passes defended, five interceptions and one touchdown.
Davis started five games as a junior in 2012 and came on strong toward the end. Considering that this was just his second season of organized football, it's simply amazing just how quickly he adjusted.
The talented defensive back would go on to start all 13 games as a senior this past season. He led the Western Athletic Conference with 22 passes defended, while finishing second in the conference with five interceptions.
Ultimately, Davis was named a third-team All American by CBS Sports in 2012.
All statistics provided by CFB Stats
Weight: 186 pounds
Arm Length: 31 1/2"
Hand Size: 9.0"
Broad Jump: 127.0"
40-Yard Dash: 4.51
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.02
Three-Cone Drill: 6.52
Vertical Jump: 35.5"
Bench Press: 16 reps at 225
While Davis ran a pedestrian 4.51 40-yard dash at the combine, he was among the best defensive backs in many other generic categories. Not only did Davis finish first among defensive backs in the three-cone drill, he finished first among all participants in that category.
The 40-yard dash might get most of the headlines, but the three-cone drill really is a better indicator of football talent and isn't as "generic." You can rest assured that scouts took that into account.
His time of 4.02 in the 20-yard shuttle also placed Davis among the top 10 overall combine participants.
All combine numbers provided by NFL.com
To say that Will Davis took a relatively difficult path to the draft would be an understatement. He first started playing organized football as a senior in high school, which didn't bode will for his future in the game.
When Davis didn't draw any interest from mainstream collegiate programs, he chose Western Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately for Davis, the program folded before he could even step on the football field.
When all was said and done, Davis' second season in a football uniform came at a community college in Central California.
The odds were completely against Davis at this point, but he didn't let it keep him down:
My mindset was to go to California, sign at a JuCo and then get a Division I scholarship....Those are big words to say for a guy who played for one year in high school then started out at Division II and didn’t even play.
Kudos, my friend.
There hasn't been a lot of social media chatter about Will Davis, but those who have opined seem to think he has a shot at doing major things at the next level.
Washington Redskins beat writer Grant Paulsen had the following to say about Davis regarding a subject we have already covered in this article.
Utah State CB Will Davis has neat background. Went from JuCo to Utah State before breaking out. Has formal meeting with Redskins tomorrow.
For what it is worth, the Washington Redskins are in need of help in the defensive secondary and Davis seems to fit the defensive scheme that they run.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com didn't file a stellar report on Davis following what had to be considered a mediocre Senior Bowl performance in Mobile back in January.
3 guys that have struggled-- BYU DE Ziggy Ansah, SMU DE Margus Hunt and Utah St CB Will Davis. Tomorrow is big day for all 3.
It doesn't seem like the other two have seen their draft stock drop since. Both Ansah and Hunt are considered early-round picks in the coming draft.
While I wouldn't read too much into Jeremiah's post because it was long before Davis performed well at the combine, I'd still expect that he will be an early Day 3 prospect at this point.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. He was hired prior to the 2011 season and couldn't be happier working with a great group of individuals here. In addition, Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
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