Da'Quan Davis, DB, Calvert Hall College (MD)
In early months of 2011, as National Signing Day approached, Joe Paterno's staff looked at their roster and saw a dearth of depth and talent in the defensive backfield. At that time, the Penn State coaches looked to Baltimore's Calvert Hall College High School. What they found was a young, versatile defensive back prospect named Adrian Amos, whose original commitment to the University of Connecticut had become shaky when Coach Randy Edsall left to take over the Maryland job.
Just one year later, Amos is not only a Nittany Lion, but also a likely starter at cornerback. A player who saw plenty of action during his true freshman season and impressed every Nittany Lion fan with his potential.
We can only hope that lightning strikes twice.
In the early months of 2012, with Penn State reeling from the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Joe Paterno's failing health, Bill O'Brien's staff looked at their roster and saw a dearth of depth and talent of defensive backfield. Just like the previous year, this new staff looked to Baltimore's Calvert Hall College High School. What they found was a young defensive back prospect who looked like an excellent fit for Ted Roof's coverage schemes.
"I don't see myself anywhere else than West Virginia," said Davis, who committed to the Mountaineers on Saturday. "It feels really good, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was waiting around to see who else was going to come around, but I started to feel like West Virginia was the right fit. I didn't know who else I was waiting for. [Other schools] were taking too long. West Virginia ... they just loved me as a player and a person."
But when Holgersen's defensive staff was overhauled in January, Davis' plans began to change. He and fellow Calvert Hall student and West Virginia commitment Trevor Williams began to look around.
Davis, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound cornerback, said he had a home visit with West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen two weeks ago, but he didn't like "the vibe." He declined to comment further, but that experience combined with the departure of much of West Virginia's defensive coaching staff made him reconsider.
"When you have a (coaching) change like that, any kid is going to consider their options," Davis said. "A bunch of schools jumped on me and basically I wanted to see what the best fit was."
It turns out that Larry Johnson convinced Davis (and Williams too) that the best fit was Penn State. Of course, it helped to have a former teammate in State College already.
"Adrian Amos was major factor," said Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis, "because they have a guy who is on the campus, a guy they can call and ask, ‘What do you think about the academics? How do you think we'll do there? Do you think we can play there?' They're all kind of cut from the same cloth. It's like having an inside guy, a guy who can give them intel they couldn't get at any other school."
Davis, a 5'10, 175 pound prospect, will be expected to contribute early in his career. It would be completely unsurprising to see an All-Calvert Hall corner depth chart sometime in the near future.
Black Shoe Diaries welcomes Da'Quan Davis and his family to Penn State.