Ohio State has already taken a handful of defensive backs in its 2021 recruiting class, but there is a strong need to replenish the secondary and so the Buckeyes are still heavily recruiting a few more targets. Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway star Derrick Davis Jr. is one of those priority targets and the four-star prospect has kept a low profile during his recruiting process.
Not one to talk much or to be overly active on social media, the outstanding safety prospect has been more than happy to have a drama free recruiting process to this point.
“I’ve been pretty much under the radar with my recruiting process,” Davis Jr. told BuckeyeScoop.com this week. “But sometime soon, I’m looking forward to dropping a top eight or a top five. Probably in the next couple of weeks.”
While some prospects have used the COVID-19 shutdown to speed up their recruiting process, the opposite is true for Davis. The hope of taking his official visits is still there, which means at least a few more months to go until a decision.
“It has impacted my timeline,” he explained. “I thought about taking my official visits in the springtime and just knocking those out and then having a top five or maybe even committing before the season. But now I’m going to push everything back. Hopefully I’ll be able to commit during the season but we’ll see.”
Ohio State has been particularly aggressive in recruiting Davis during the shutdown. The last few months have seen Buckeye head coach Ryan Day make the athletic safety a major priority.
“I talk to coach Day a lot,” Davis said. “I also talk to the DB’s coach, coach (Matt) Barnes.”
That extra push from Day in recent months has resonated with Davis, who is one of the top prospects in the Keystone State.
“It lets me know that he cares,” Davis continued. “He truly wants me to be a Buckeye. I think that if he wasn’t talking to me as much that I might not have as much interest in Ohio State, but the fact that he goes out of his way to text me and everything means a lot. He keeps me up to date with everything.”
Day and the Buckeyes are going to be taking a slew of defensive backs in this class. While that may cause some hesitation among other prospects, it won’t for Davis. While there will be plenty of competition among incoming 2021 prospects, there is a numbers shortage on the current roster and Davis sees an opportunity there.
“I would say that it’s a positive,” he said of Ohio State’s defensive backs situation. “You’re always going to have to compete. At the end of the day, you get a shot at seeing the field early (with the lack of veterans). It’s going to be a dog fight every day, there’s never going to be an easy way to earn your position. Every day you’re going to have to compete.”
Davis’ interest in Ohio State goes beyond the football field, however.
“They have been one of the legitimate schools for me since they offered,” Davis stated. “I don’t look at them just for football. I look at them as a school. I want to major in business and in the city of Columbus, if you want to start a business, that’s a really big city to start a business in and launch your career. The city is just on the rise of being a great city, so besides football they’ve been a legitimate school for me for a while.”
In addition to the three mainstays in his recruitment, Davis has been hearing more from a pair of SEC powers recently in LSU and Georgia.
“I did a virtual visit recently with LSU,” he explained. “I’ve been doing a lot of zooms, talking to coaches, stuff like that. I talk to (LSU safeties coach Bill Busch) a lot. They’re real good people there and they are coming off a national championship and they are looking to win another one. They are trying to repeat.”