Meet the Freshmen: OLB/SS Paul "P.J." Davis

The penultimate edition of our "Meet the Freshmen" series covers the late commitment of a hard-hitter from the deep south of Georgia.

Side note to all of this: today is the day that all of the freshman football players report, tomorrow begins their orientation, and Monday is when their first classes begin!

Similar to Ty Griffin, P.J. Davis got an opportunity to play at Georgia Tech after a few commitments flipped to other schools. Davis wasn't much of a celebrated recruit (his only other FBS-level offer was from Temple -- how they made it from Philadelphia to recruit in Cairo, GA I'm not too sure, but that's besides the point), but may be one that has one of the best chances of playing this fall. That makes absolutely no sense to most, but is much more clear once one takes a look at his film. As it turns out, Davis was a long-time commitment to Temple, but wanted to go to Georgia Tech and was waiting on an offer. Less than a week before Signing Day, Davis got that offer and flipped his commitment immediately to the Yellow Jackets.

So how on Earth does a guy go from struggling to get an offer to a likely player as a freshman? It's fairly simple. Davis is 5'10", but a stocky 200 pounds. Combine that solidly-built frame with good speed and a nose for the ball, and what you get is a very hard-hitting player who is likely to see time on special teams this fall. Davis shows good acceleration and good anticipation of where a play is going, things that will help him significantly in kickoff and punt coverage. He also shows a very high capacity for delivering bone-crushing hits. (I can personally attest to some of the cringing that happened in the room on National Signing Day when they showed Davis' film -- his play style is not pretty for those with weak stomachs.)

Coach Johnson asked me if I thought I would be able to play at their level and I told him I would be the best player they signed this year.-Paul "P.J." Davis

The biggest criticism of Davis will undoubtedly be his size -- his 5'10" frame does not translate well to the safety position, nor does his 200 pound frame translate well to the linebacker position. It's really something of a shame -- Davis can make some downright violent hits that are sure to rattle opposing ballcarriers, something I'd love to see on our defense. However, I also understand that he's a few inches short of a good height for playing safety, a position where height is important to some of the vital functions of the position. If anything, I see Davis playing defense at cornerback (a position where his size is perfect), although I'm not sure if his skill set includes major abilities in man or zone coverage.

What I do know about Davis is that he's a playmaker, and one of the last guys you want to see running at you when you've got the ball. I know that he can be absolutely devastating on kick coverage (as early as this fall), and he has the ability to change a game with his reckless abandon in tackling. What's going to be interesting is how he fits in at Tech, as his size and skill set, while great individually, create somewhat of a very unfortunate disconnect.

How do you see Davis contributing at Tech? Can he bulk up and play linebacker? Is he a role-player on defense? Might he be capable of playing cornerback?

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