January 12, 2012

Q-&-A with Davis' coach

Gaffney (SC) High School head coach Dan Jones spoke with Deacons Illustrated about his highly coveted senior wide receiver Quinshad Davis.

Rivals.com rates Davis as a four-star recruit, the nation's No. 44 wide receiver and the No. 4 overall prospect in South Carolina.

The 6-foot-4 and 180-pound Palmetto State prospect caught 109 passes for 2,009 yards and 25 touchdowns this season to help lead Gaffney to a 14-1 record and a state championship appearance.

Davis will be in Winston-Salem Friday, Jan. 13 for an official visit to Wake Forest.

Coach, tell me what it was like to coach Quinshad Davis, and what makes him special? "Well one is he's a great student. You don't ever have to worry about him in his classroom. He's always going to do the school work, and he takes pride in succeeding there also."

"On the field he's such a competitor, and he demands so much of himself that he's a leader, because the other kids see what he does and they want to follow suit. He's a great competitor. On top of that he's 6-4, he runs good routes, and he's a winner."

What type of receiver do you see him being at the next level? A go-to, possession, deep-threat or something else? "I'm not sure. For us he was all of those, so I don't know how the kid's going to mature, but he'd beat people deep. He ran curl routes. He ran slant routes, so he was all of those things for us, but as far as the next level I really don't know. You never know how a kid's going to mature and what's going to take place."

"I just know that he's going to work hard. He's a good enough athlete, and has exceptional hands that he's going to be a good receiver for someone."

What have college coaches communicated to you about him, and how they would like to use him? "They really haven't expressed to me how they would use him. They just expressed that they certainly want him on campus."

"North Carolina's going to be switching to a spread offense, and they've certainly expressed that they certainly want him to be a Tar Heel. They feel like he can be a great receiver for them with them moving to a spread."

"I got a call the other day from Notre Dame, and they were wanting to know if Quinshad would have any interest. The coach that called me said that his head coach [Brian Kelly] has seen him and they like him, but Quinshad wants to stay close enough where his family and all can come see him play on the weekends."

"He eliminated Mississippi for that reason, and he was flattered that Notre Dame was interested, but 11 and a half hours is too far to travel on the weekend."

Any thoughts from Wake Forest and what its coaches have seen in him, and what they like about him? "The receivers they have one of them seems like he's the caliber of Quinshad, a big, strong receiver. They hadn't told me what they see in him. They just let me know that they were interested in him. They throw the ball a good bit up there now, and want Quinshad to be a part of that."

What are some things you and your staff did to get him the ball, and put him in position to make plays? "We knew that Quinshad had the tools as far as speed and size. Quinshad was the go-to-guy, and we would have other receivers as secondary receivers. We knew that if we got it near him he was going to catch it, and he could also make a big play after the catch. That's just how we designed the offense."

"We had other receivers, and Quinshad was never just a one-man team, but he was certainly a big part of it. Him and Joey [Copeland] had worked real hard on getting a good connection as far as the last couple of years, and so they felt comfortable together. They both knew the other one was going to make them look good. If the ball was a little bit off Quinshad [would] still catch it. Also Joey knew if he got it near him Quinshad could make him look good. They just had a good chemisty."

Where did he improve the most this season, and where do you see a need for growth? "For us this year his route-running just came more precise, and he also seemed to have a little more wiggle this year than he did last year."

"His stride is not as long as it should be. He's lengthening his stride as far as running, and I think he can get even faster there, so when that stride length comes a little longer. He's working on that."

"As far as on the next level where he needs to improve I guess would probably be a little more man coverage mainly, because they don't play quite as much in high school, but anytime they did Quinshad seemed to do well. He's just going to get more work at that at the next level, and I'm sure he'll be able to handle that also."

Could you go through his visits? "He supposedly tentatively had scheduled Tennessee the next [weekend] and then North Carolina, but he told me yesterday he was going to call Tennessee and see if he could change those; just rotate the weekends. If you can't then he'll stay with that, but if he can he'll try to go to North Carolina and then the following to Tennessee."

Stay tuned to Deacons Illustrated for more updates on Quinshad Davis and Wake Forest recruiting news.

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