Hello: Kingston Davis Comment Count

Ace April 6th, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Michigan is now up to three commits from the spring game weekend visitors, as Prattville (AL) running back Kingston Davis announced his decision this morning:

Davis is a former high school teammate of 2015 signee Keith Washington, and Michigan will hold one of their satellite camps at Prattville in June. Davis is the fifth commit in the 2016 class and the first at running back.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #100 RB 3*, NR RB NR RB 3*, 82, #3 FB 3*, #3 FB,
#983 Ovr

Davis isn't yet regarded as a big-time recruit, though he looks like a player who could move up quickly upon further evaluation. He played behind four-star 2014 Auburn signee Kamryn Pettway as a sophomore, and last season he earned the plurality of carries in a talented three-back rotation while also playing in an offense that featured Washington utilizing his legs quite a bit as a dual-threat quarterback. Rivals currently lists him as the #24 prospect in Alabama, but their AlabamaVarsity outlet ranked him as the #16 recruit in the state in February.

The four sites are in general agreement regarding Davis' size, and he's a bruiser at 6'1", 230-ish pounds. Michigan is recruiting him as a running back, not a fullback, which gives you an idea of the type of size Jim Harbaugh envisions his offense having in a couple years.


There isn't a ton out there on Davis yet, and what has been written usually focuses on his size. At the RCS Atlanta a couple weeks ago, Rivals' Woody Wommack took notice of the big back ($):

Davis stood out physically as one of the biggest backs in attendance. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, he's as big as some of the linebackers he faced, and had a ton of success during one-on-ones. Depending on where he plays his college ball, it looks like Davis could play any number of positions.

Power backs aren't usually the type to stand out in a camp setting, when they're running routes, not smashing between the tackles, so that's an encouraging sign for Davis' potential as an every-down back.

Scout analyst John Garcia Jr. has the most complete scouting report, which he posted on The Victors Club after Davis committed ($):

Davis (PROFILE) is a bruiser of a back at 6-foot, 215-plus, but he's consistent with carrying the load as well. While he's a one-cut guy by nature, he is also a willing blocker and has better hands out of the backfield than given credit for. In the state of Alabama, which is RB heavy in 2016, I have Davis as a top 5 back because of how he consistently gets chunk yardage. He can get low with his pads and run with the power everyone expects him to, but has solid feet in the open field as well, making many miss without too much wasted motion. At the next level, I can see him as a hybrid RB/FB/H-back type depending on how his body continues to develop. Of course, he has ties to UM through his teammate Keith Washington, who signed with UM after playing QB for Prattville in 2014. The two were one of the best one-two punches in the state. 

As you'll see in his film, Davis has some wiggle when he breaks into the secondary, and while he's not a pure burner, he's got good burst when he hits the line.

247's Clint Brewster broke down the tape in the wake of the commitment, and it sounds like Davis will fit in well in Harbaugh's system, which rewards patient runners:

He's a tough runner that can also make subtle cuts in the open field to extend runs and take advantage of creases. He has good vision behind the line of scrimmage as to where to hit the hole and explode. Not great maneuverability through the hole or change of direction agility but he's got deceptive straight line speed. He's got a knack for getting to the second level and outrunning guys. Shows good power to run through tackles when he keeps his pad level low. He's a patient but decisive runner with a forward lean and a physical style that makes him a tough guy to slow down once he gains steam.

Davis told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz an encouraging high school stat ($):

“My junior year we just got a new running backs coach and had to learn to work with each other,” Davis said. “Blocking was a key factor this year and I led my team with 1,400-yards and 15 touchdowns.

I’ve fumbled only one time in my high school career so that’s a big plus.”

Indeed. Davis also told Garcia what he'd like to work on as a senior:

"I want to maintain, maybe add a little more weight, work on some speed and get a lot faster," Davis said. "I'm more comfortable this year, I'm hitting the hole hard, blocking my tail off and doing the best I can do."

Tyrone Wheatley was Michigan's primary recruiter for Davis, and the youngster apparently reminded Wheatley of a running back with whom he's quite familiar, per Tim Sullivan ($):

"They want me to get up there, and they want me to play right away. That was a big part of it for me. I'll fit right into their system, and he really wants me up there. He said that I reminded me of himself, of Tyrone Wheatley. He was a big back, but fast and quick. I can run people over, and he said he really needs one of those guys up there."

While he doesn't quite have Wheatley's world-class speed yet (the former Michigan standout ran a 10.46-second 100-meter dash as a Wolverine), he's capable of sub-11-second times in the sprint event, and has put down an 11.5-second time this spring. 

I'm okay with a Wheatley-approved Wheatley-type.


Davis also held offers from Louisville, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Georgia Southern, Texas State, and Troy. Rivals reports he had interest, but no offers, from Alabama and Auburn.


In addition to Michigan freshman-to-be Washington, Prattville has produced several FBS-caliber recruits in the Rivals era, most notably 2010 four-star Nick Perry, who started for the Tide at safety in 2014, and four-star 2012 athlete Justin Thomas, last year's starting quarterback in Georgia Tech's option offense.


Per MaxPreps, Davis rushed for 1432 yards and eight touchdowns on 192 carries (7.5 YPC) as a junior, adding 114 yards and another score on seven receptions. He carried the ball 70 times for 537 yards (7.7 YPC) and six TDs as a sophomore.


Davis' Hudl page lists a 4.50, which gets four FAKEs out of five.


Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Michigan doesn't have any senior running backs on the roster, so unless Davis proves he's better than much more experienced players, he should take a redshirt in 2016, even though he's got college-ready size. After that, he'll compete with Ty Isaac, Karan Higdon, and likely another 2016 back for carries.


Davis is the fifth commit in a class that currently projects to just 14 recruits by our count, though the coaches clearly expect that number to rise significantly given the #Fab25 hashtag being bandied about by recent commits. Michigan is very likely to pursue another running back, and a few current prospects holding offers stand out as decent possibilities to join the class: four-star Southfield RB Matt Falcon, who has Tennessee edging out Michigan at the moment; four-star NC RB Robert Washington recently named Michigan to his top five; and three-star IN RB Toks Akinribade responded positively to a recent offer.

Taking a broader view, this provides further evidence Harbaugh's staff is going to pull in a lot more players from SEC country than their predecessors:

Add in the renewed focus on California and Texas, and it's clear Harbaugh's recruiting is going to take on a more national flavor than Hoke's did.



April 6th, 2015 at 11:06 AM ^

Harbaugh is going to change the entire landscape for UM recruiting. He's placing a stake right in the middle of SEC country and they're already boo hooing about it.

gustave ferbert

April 6th, 2015 at 11:10 AM ^

would be pissing off Louisville more than the SEC at this point.


This kid had a Louisville offer.  Plus Fitzpatrick might be leaning blue and getting that commitment over the weekend. . . .


April 6th, 2015 at 11:24 AM ^

Saw him at the hotel over the weekend. Only knew it was him because he had a name tag on. He was was an enormous young man. I'm continually in shock how big these "kids" are. Go Blue and welcome aboard Kingston.


April 6th, 2015 at 11:30 AM ^

and appears to be hard to get down on first contact.

You never know with recruiting—I asked Sam Webb this morning who he thought is the most likely next commit, and the only name he mentioned was Fitzpatrick. No mention at all of Davis.


April 6th, 2015 at 11:51 AM ^

It looks like Falcon is trending to Michigan now. From what I've heard the recruits LOVE Wheatley.

Quinn Nordine is one of the best kickers in the counrty from Rockford, MI. There is a video of him on his page on 247 showing him easily kicking a 55 yard field goal through the uprights with arena league goal posts. He is a three star kicker on 247 so that tells you something.




Nordine Link


April 6th, 2015 at 3:06 PM ^

As others have mentioned, Nordin has already been offered by Michigan, and he can punt. He's a better regarded kicker than Andrew David, too. The feeling right now is that Nordin will commit to Michigan, which is fine with me. It doesn't sound like Kenny Allen has been very consistent with his punting, so I think we should be considering guys to punt, anyway.


April 6th, 2015 at 12:11 PM ^

Bigger RB, good feet and vision, runs strong, tough to bring down, good burst through the hole but lacks breakaway speed.  Best comparison I can think of is Carlos Hyde.


Welcome aboard!


April 6th, 2015 at 12:06 PM ^

Big back with good feet, sub-11 time in the 100 who doesn't fumble, decent hands and blocks already--what more do you want?  I'm not sure what gives with his guru rankings, but he sounds like a good player who will fit in great with JH's offense.


April 6th, 2015 at 12:37 PM ^

Well, I was just going by the Tim Sullivan quote that Ace included, which on review is a little more wish-washy:

"While he doesn't quite have Wheatley's world-class speed yet (the former Michigan standout ran a 10.46-second 100-meter dash as a Wolverine),he's capable of sub-11-second times in the sprint event, and has put down an 11.5-second time this spring. "

Still, even if he's closer to 11.5, seems like he probably at least has enough speed to get it done.


April 6th, 2015 at 1:05 PM ^

Big, big, big difference between "sub 11" and 11.5


Last year in Michigan:


35 kids ran under 11.0, state best was 10.69


330 kids ran under 11.5


If you've got someone running sub 11 - they're competing for a state 100M championship. If you've got someone running 11.5 - they're competing just to make the 400m relay team for their school.


April 6th, 2015 at 1:40 PM ^

Thanks--those numbers do help put Davis' speed into perspective.

I suppose I was reading the 11.5 time together with the "capable of running sub 11" line, and figuring maybe he doesn't get all the way down under 11.0 but still winds up somewhere in between (say, 11.2 or 11.3?).  That seems fast to me, but I am not a track guy and really have no idea.


April 6th, 2015 at 4:18 PM ^

Emphasis on "capable"... Sullivan is simply pulling that out of his nether region. There's a huge distance between an 11.5 and a sub-11 time, as others below have noted.

Doesn't at all mean he's not a fine recruit to land, though.


April 6th, 2015 at 3:13 PM ^

Kingston is the real deal and you all will see.  He has great Hands.. rarely drop passes, 1 fumble in 269 carries, good speed.  He is a 4 down back... trust me Michigan has found a Gem... Coach Harbaugh and Coach Wheatley knows how to evaluate talent.    Rating.....  He is underated, had he(we)  gone to a school that gave him the ball 30-35 times a games his numbers would be off the charts.  He gets better deep into the game.  Excited about my son's future at Michigan.


April 6th, 2015 at 4:35 PM ^

Mr. Davis, let me just say congratulations to you and your son.  I can tell you are very proud of him, and you should be.  He really couldn't have made a better decision for his future--both on and off the football field--than to come to Michigan.  He's going to get the best coaching from Jim Harbaugh and his staff, he's going to get a truly world class education in the classroom, and he's going to spend his undergraduate years in one of America's most beautiful and vibrant college towns.  Best of luck to your son, and I look forward to seeing him in a Maize & Blue uniform before too long.  Go Blue!    


April 6th, 2015 at 12:40 PM ^

The article says he ran a 11.5 100m this spring, which is great for a typical kid, but slow for a D1 RB prospect. Tons of boys run an 11.5 around here. Now if he gets sub 11 seconds, that's another story. Sub 11 at 230lbs is beastly


April 10th, 2015 at 11:54 PM ^

He runs a 11.5 100 meters .......He will have 9 other guys blocking there butts off for him.  He has one more year of High School so he has lots of room for improvement.  We coaches do say one thing..... you can't teach speed. Trust me he will get better and with the excellent conditioning from the Michigan strength coaching staff  he is going to make some folks kneel at the throne.  LOL  that was funny ..... Oh yeah, football fields are 100 yards long.. Go Big Blue !!!