BYU fans will anxiously await Cody Hoffman's decision this year of whether or not he declares for the NFL draft. Whether he stays or goes, the Cougar coaches have hit the recruiting trail to make sure that there's no shortage of talent at wide receiver. With the recent re-commitment of Tanner Shipley, BYU's 2013 recruiting class at wide receiver just went from the deepest ever to the even-deepest ever.
The best deep threat of this deepest ever wide receiver class is probably Glendale, California speedster Michael Davis. The 6-foot-2, 180 pound California track star had offers from Big 12 program Iowa State and New Mexico State before accepting BYU's offer. What attracted Davis, who isn't LDS, to BYU's football program over a Big 12 program? Davis' head coach at Glendale High School John Tuttle said that from the conversations he had with Davis, the family atmosphere at BYU was a big part of it.
Just as BYU's latest diamond in the rough superstar decides whether to stay or go, BYU might have found their next non-LDS under the radar superstar in Davis. "He's just real raw at football because he hasn't played that much. I think it's one of those things that he'll be a steal for BYU in a couple of years. He'll be one of those guys who wasn't on the radar of a big time division 1 school that if it can workout he'll be a nice steal for BYU getting a kid like Michael. "
"Obviously the one that stands out is the speed he has, he's the fastest at the 200 meter in the state of California. So that is definitely one of the good things about Michael, even at the college level I think he's going to be able to get over the top of people. I want to say the week before he went to the finals he ran a 10.67 in the 100 meter I think which is his PR. Down at USC I got a rough estimate I think for a 4.5 (laser time)... he was one of the fastest times there at the USC camp."
With that kind of speed and after Davis' excellent showing in a 7 on 7 tournament before his junior year and a big junior year (Junior year film http://www.hudl.com/athlete/969273/#highlights/12489375), and with the progress he had made, Cougar fans might be wondering why he's still under the radar. "He didn't have very many catches (his senior year) because we didn't have as good of a quarterback. He played wildcat for us and we put him at tailback a little bit."
"When he had the big summer and last year we had a quarterback here that could throw to his strengths of posts and corners, this year we didn't have a guy that could throw it as well downfield. So it was all short little stuff because we couldn't get the ball downfield to him as well."
"Going into his junior year is when he had a big passing league tournament, that was when the LA Times had a blog about him and the tournament. That kid could really get the ball downfield and a couple times Michael still outran him on some deep balls. That's why Michael's numbers were down (his SR year)."
It certainly didn't help Davis' numbers that opposing teams knew about him and were focused on stopping him at all costs. "Most of the time everybody just put two, sometimes three guys over in that area against him. He'd have a guy on him, a guy over the top of him, and a linebacker there. Everybody knew where he was."
For Davis to have gotten as good as he is so quickly, he has had to learn very quickly. "He's a pretty smart kid, he's pretty sharp. You don't have to repeat yourself to him about plays or situations, he's coachable. There's the one time, okay, you made a mistake, here it is, then you don't have to worry about it again."
That kind of improvement also takes a lot of hard work. "He's a hard worker, he did wide receiver stuff during the offseason, and on the weekends. He's a competitor, he's a multi-sport guy, he's not just playing one sport, so he's out there competing, and I think that says a lot about him."
"He's definitely improved on his route running, and working on sticking his foot in the ground, and getting a good break out of his cuts. It's something he's worked on a lot during the offseason and on his own just spending time with the quarterback when he was here. He's pretty raw for football, he's only played in high school, he didn't play before that, so the upside as far as route running is pretty huge I think."
"His hands are pretty good, he only had a couple of dropped balls this year. I think that's another thing, focusing in on the concentration of catching the ball and getting his hands proper and all of that little fundamental stuff which BYU will get him better at."
Last year's track star turned football phenom was Jamaal Williams, and he is doing incredible things as a true freshman. Does Michael have the same kind of athleticism and football speed that Jamaal does, or is it only straight line track speed? "I think that his agility is something he'll improve on, getting more football speed in little spaces. I think that some of that has to do with being a track guy and running track so much. There were a couple of plays where he broke little passes into a big play so I think he's improved on it. I think with the flexibility training up at BYU he'll only get better."
"He's pretty athletic, the basketball coach was trying to get him to go out for the basketball team. He does a pretty good job at (judging the ball, going up and catching it at the highest point), it's something he could still work on to get a little bit better at it, but yeah he goes up for the football."
If Hoffman does stick around for his senior year, Davis will have one of the best wide receivers in the country to learn from. BYU has had a great wide receiving corps the last few years, and will for years to come.
Follow me on Twitter: @lancewarchibald
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