With a decided lack of available in-state options at the tight end position with Houston Clear Lake prospect Jordan Davis already committed to Texas A&M, the Texas Longhorns turned their attention to the junior college ranks on Monday:
Iowa Western TE/WR Andrew Davis has been offered by The University of Texas. #longhorns— reiverfootball (@reiverfootball) April 7, 2014
Typically, junior college recruiting doesn't start in earnest until the summer of the fall -- recall that the Horns offered and received a commitment from current starter Geoff Swaim during the summer --in part because of the type of academic issues
And perhaps in part because the services don't begin seriously ranking junior college prospects until that time
Davis is a 6'5, 220-pounder currently rated as a mid three-star prospect by 247Sports, the only service that has rated him so far. The No. 2 junior college tight end in the country by that service, he's the No. 38 JUCO player and No. 2 in the state of Iowa.
The only other offer so far for Davis is from Illinois, a school that he visited several weeks ago. He is also receiving interest from Miami (Ohio) after playing his high school football in Iowa.
A full qualifier out of high school, Davis is expected to be able to enroll in the school of his choice in January, a major plus because it will allow him to participate in spring practice.
A broken leg during his senior season probably slowed down his recruitment, an injury that he suffered on a field goal attempt. It also seems that he played a fair amount of running back, too, an position for someone of his size. He did not end up receiving any offers before enrolling at Iowa Western.
Often lined up as a wide receiver for Iowa Western last year, his Rivals page reports six catches for 64 yards last season, but his highlights show many more than that. He's probably a better athlete than Geoff Swaim and similar to Blake Whiteley -- in fact, he was a good enough athlete for Iowa Western to use him in the wide receiver screen game.
His best attribute as a wide receiver is probably his ball skills, as he was a consistent threat last season down the sideline on fade routes, where his height made him a major mismatch against smaller defensive backs.
Davis was also effective on play-action passes where he would pass set before going out on a seam route.
In the blocking game, there's not nearly as much evidence of his work there as Swaim and Whiteley put on film, though it's hard to tell if that'e because he was split out so much or because he wasn't as successful there.
At 220 pounds, he'd likely spend more time flexed out at Texas or playing H-back until he can get to a weight where he won't be at a mass disadvantage. In that respect, his work throughout the months until he enrolls could impact his ability to play early at a true tight end or H-back position -- it would be ideal for him to gain 10 or so pounds of muscle during that time.
The Longhorns are currently in pretty good shape with Arkansas product Will Gragg after his visit for Texas Relays, but making a move on Davis early when there is little available competition is a smart decision by the Texas staff.
Time to get the Iowa Western product on campus and close with him as the staff sells an increased role in the offense based on the success of the Louisville tight ends last season -- 43 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns.