The Hurry-Up: Top-100 Priority Target Jaylin Davies Breaks Down Final Four Finalists, Says Ohio State “Checks All the Boxes”

By Zack Carpenter on May 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Jaylin Davies

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Davies breaks down final four

Since a three-year run from 2014 to 2016 of having no California players signed in those recruiting classes, Ohio State has signed four players from the state in the four classes since. That’s a small number, but the quality has been impressive. 

The first two (St. John Bosco offensive guard Wyatt Davis in 2017; Mission Hills receiver Chris Olave in 2018) have turned into the top-three or top-five players in college football at their respective positions. And the 2020 class produced a quarterback (Rancho Cucamonga’s C.J. Stroud) and linebacker/safety (Bosco’s Kourt Williams II) who have as much potential at their respective positions as any other player in their recruiting class nationwide.

So far, despite having the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, the Buckeyes have not landed a player from California in their 2021 haul with 10 total offers dished out. There is only one player remaining from the Golden State in the cycle who is a strong candidate to still join the Buckeyes. 

Mater Dei (Calif.) four-star cornerback Jaylin Davies is among the country’s best junior prospects, and the Buckeyes sit in a great position with him. (Defensive end Korey Foreman and linebacker Raesjon Davis are both still candidates, but the Buckeyes are behind on both prospects.) 

On Saturday, Davies – ranked No. 100 overall, No. 10 at cornerback and No. 11 in the state – provided a major update in his recruitment, dropping the Buckeyes onto a final-four list that includes Pac-12 programs Arizona State, Oregon and USC. 

Davies, a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, broke down those four programs with Eleven Warriors shortly after his Twitter announcement.

Arizona State: “It’s up and coming, and there is opportunity for me to play and start as a true freshman.

Ohio State: “Ohio State is DBU capital, and I have a very good relationship with Coach (Kerry) Coombs. We speak every day. Coach (Ryan) Day is as cool as they come, and I can see my future there. Ohio State checks all the boxes – not only for me but for my family as well. Coach (Corey) Dennis as well – they've been there since the beginning and have always checked in on me. To me, that goes a long way.”

Oregon: “They’re the Pac-12 Rose Bowl champions. There's opportunity to play early as a  freshman, and (Mario) Cristobal has always shown me love.”

USC: “It’s home.”

Arizona State and Oregon are not the only programs in which Davies believes he would have an opportunity to play early, though, as Davies said that he believes he would have that chance, “but playing early isn’t an end-all, be-all for me so I won't be basing my decision on that alone.”

Instead, Davies says that he is hoping to find a place that will help him transform personally and set him up for success later in life.

“I'm more so focused on being developed and growing as a man, and I believe that Ohio State can do that probably better than any university based off of their results,” Davies said.

Personally, I believe Ohio State is in the driver’s seat in this recruitment in some ways. The staff, led by Coombs, Day and Dennis, has done a great job of making inroads and staying in consistent communication with the star talent – one from Mater Dei’s national powerhouse program who has never dipped below the No. 142 mark in the overall recruiting player rankings since his first ranking in January of 2019 following his sophomore season.  

In fact, because the Buckeyes are in such an enviable position in Davies’ recruitment, and because they have a nearly full defensive backs haul that is missing just one final cornerback in the group, it sounds like they are able to afford more patience with Davies. 

He has gone on virtual visits, but Davies has never visited Ohio State in person. He told us in late February that he had an unofficial visit all set up for the spring, but the COVID-19 shutdown obviously put a halt to that occurring. 

The Buckeyes very rarely will accept a commitment from a player who has not visited (with TreVeyon Henderson in 2021 and J.K. Dobbins in 2017 being two notable exceptions), as it is a fairly baseline requirement. If Davies is able to visit, I like the Buckeyes’ odds of landing him. If they decided to back off needing him visit, I like the Buckeyes’ odds of landing him.

Until one of those things happens, of course, a commitment is not imminent. It doesn’t sound like there should be reason for worry for Ohio State backers, though. Until everything opens back up and visits are allowed, it does not appear as though Davies is on the verge of making a decision. 

“I had a timetable, but until we're able to visit I don't really have one,” said Davies, who understands that cornerback spots may fill up at those schools but remains adamant that he does not want to rush this major decision. 

A fit for Coombs

While there have been some questions about Davies’ overall athleticism and top-end speed (his official 40 time is 4.69 seconds, though that was recorded back in February of 2019), Davies is a great fit for Coombs and the Buckeyes – I believe at outside cornerback, which is their final need in the secondary in the 2021 class. 

It sounds like there will be more diversity in terms of the coverages the Buckeyes play with Coombs in charge, but he wasn't shy about wanting to implement the style that he ran almost exclusively during his time as Ohio State's cornerbacks coach.

“You bet your bottom dollar, we're going to play press man-to-man, because we're going to be really good at it,” Coombs said in February.

If he and the Buckeyes truly are wanting to return to a more aggressive, physical press-man style, then their hard pursuit of Davies makes that much more sense. Davies is as good of a press-man corner as there is in the class. He blends long arms with the size, strength and toughness to be able to hang with outside receivers. 

He has been hailed for his adept footwork, and his ability to drive on the ball and his ball skills are what allows him to blanket some of California's best receivers – including Clemson commit Beaux Collins and Oregon signee Kris Hutson, both from Bosco.

Jaylin Davies photo courtesy of Gerard Martinez/247Sports

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