The Pittsburgh Steelers had Utah State cornerback Will Davis in for a pre draft visit on Monday, and our scouting buddy Dave-Te\’ Thomas was kind enough to give us his detailed scouting report profile on him, which you can read below. Make sure to listen to the Thursday episode of the podcast as we had Thomas on for nearly a full hour talking about the Steelers draft and prospects.
WILLIAM “Will” DAVIS
Utah State University Aggies
De Anza College
Central Valley High School
Davis’ long journey to finally find a football home ended when the astute coaching staff at Utah State dipped into the vast pool of underrated talent that toils in the junior college ranks of the state of California. He first became interested in the sport during his final year at Central Valley High School, as he mostly competed in basketball and track during his first three years in the prep ranks.
Despite no experience on the gridiron prior to the 2007 season, Davis earned second-team All-Greater Spokane League honors that campaign, logging seven interceptions, while also tallying 33 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a defensive back.
He also played wide receiver, making sixteen catches for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
At Central Valley High, Davis had earned three letters in basketball and four in track. He was an honorable mention All-Great Spokane League honoree and team MVP as a senior in basketball and was a two-year starter, averaging 11.9 points per game during his final season.
As a sophomore, he played on the hoops team that was Class 4A state runner-up after compiling a 23-7 record under head coach Rick Sloan. In track, he placed third in the triple jump at the state track meet as a senior and was regional champion as a junior, posting a personal record triple jump of 46-0. He also served as Associated Student Body President and was a Diversity “DREAM” award honoree in 2007-08.
With no major college recruiters knocking on his door in any of the three sports he played in at Central Valley, Davis gladly accepted an offer to play football at Western Washington University, an NCAA Division II school, in 2008.
After red-shirting that season, he was ready to battle for a starting job in the secondary, but shortly before the 2009 semester began, the “axe fell” on the Viking football program due to budget cuts and football was dropped from the athletic program. “I redshirted there in 2008 and they ended up cutting the program,” Davis told JCFootball.com. “I thought I was going to just end up playing there and was happy, but after that I started to doubt if I should keep playing.
Davis was forced to miss another opportunity to play football, but began searching for a school that would let him step on to the college gridiron. He began to look around and found the coaches at De Anza College in Cupertino, California willing to give him a chance. “I had a high school buddy that was a graduate assistant at DeAnza and he talked me into coming down and playing again.”
The Spokane, Washington native headed south and enrolled at the junior college, suiting up for the Dons in 2010. Once he arrived, he immediately worked his way into the starting lineup and had an outstanding season, posting 35 tackles, eight passes deflections and led the state junior colleges with eight interceptions for 90 yards in returns that included a pair of touchdowns.
Davis received first-team All-Golden Gate Conference and first-team All-California Region II honors. He helped the Dons to the Golden Gate Conference title and the Central Division Bowl. His performance in 2010 turned into a scholarship offer from Utah State to play for the Aggies in 2011.
“Idaho and San Jose State both offered and I got offers from Southern Illinois and North Dakota State,” Davis said. “Utah State had been on me for a while and they offered me this past weekend when I visited there. It really felt good when I was there. I just liked the whole experience. The coaches and the players were really welcoming to me and I felt like it was the right situation for me.”
An elbow contusion suffered during Utah State’s August camp would prevent Davis from becoming a full-time starter in 2011. He shared boundary cornerback duties with Jumane Robertson, starting at that position vs. Louisiana Tech and as a nickel back in the Idaho and Nevada clashes. He finished the year posting 35 tackles with 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and six pass deflections.
In 2012, it all came together for Davis, as the first-team All-Western Athletic Conference choice added third-team All-American honors. He guided a defense that led the league and ranked 14th in the nation, giving up just 322.08 yards per game. The previous season, the Aggies finished 50th nationally in total defense (366.23). He recorded 64 tackles with 4.5 stops for loss and three pressures.
Davis led the team, ranked second in the WAC and tied for 17th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with five interceptions for 100 yards in returns, including a touchdown. He also broke up seventeen other tosses, matching Jason Verrett of Texas Christian and Dee Milliner of Alabama with 22 passes defended, the most in the major college ranks in 2012.
Because the Western Washington program he originally signed with was cut, Davis had the opportunity to appeal his eligibility and could have ended up with an extra year to play for the Aggies. However, when he received an invitation to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl, he decided it was best that he play in the National Football League next season.
By being selected to play in the Senior Bowl, it marked for the third time in the last four years, Utah State has had a football player participate in the contest. Overall, Davis is the 17th Utah State player selected to the Senior Bowl since 1962 and the third in the past four years under current head coach Gary Andersen, as linebacker Bobby Wagner was named the North\’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012, while defensive back Curtis Marsh was selected in 2010.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Will to showcase his talents in one of the most prestigious all-star games in the country,” said Andersen. “Will has done a fantastic job of dedicating himself to the game of football and that commitment has shown through with his performance on the field. Furthermore, as a staff, we are excited about the fact that we have now had three players in our four years here at Utah State get an opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl.”
For his entire college career, Davis started 26-of-36 games, as the cornerback recorded 134 tackles (90 solos) with twelve tackles for losses of 36 yards…Also deflected 31 passes and intercepted thirteen others for 190 yards in returns and three touchdowns, adding 62 yards on six punt returns…At Utah State, he started 16-of-26 games, as he totaled 99 tackles (67 solos), eight stops for minus 36 yards, three quarterback pressures, 23 pass deflections and gained 100 yards with a score on five interceptions.
Davis received All-American third-team recognition from CBS Sports and honorable mention from The NFL Draft Report and Sports Illustrated…Named All-Western Athletic Conference first-team, picking up league Player of the Week accolades vs. New Mexico State and Idaho, along with being chosen College Football Performance Awards honorable mention National Defensive Back of the Week for both contests…Started all thirteen games at boundary cornerback, recording a career-high 64 tackles (46 solos) that included 4.5 stops for minus 14 yards and three pressures…Had 22 passes defended, tying both Dee Milliner of Alabama and Jason Verrett of Texas Christian for the most in the nation, as he deflected seventeen throws and intercepted five others to close out the regular season, gaining 100 yards with a touchdown on those pass thefts…Davis\’ five interceptions are the most by an Aggie since 2003, while his five interceptions in as many games is the longest USU streak since 1973…Deflected four passes and made six tackles (4 solos) vs. Utah, adding four hits with three more pass break-ups vs. Colorado State…Followed with two pass deflections, a pressure that caused an interception and seven tackles (6 solos) in the Nevada-Las Vegas clash…Began his string of five consecutive games with at least one pass theft, returning the ball 35 yards while delivering eight tackles with two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pass deflection to earn WAC Player of the Week honors vs. New Mexico State…Had a 6-yard interception return vs. Texas-San Antonio and another with two pressures vs. Texas State…Deflected two throws, intercepted another and was in on five tackles at Louisiana Tech. The senior was the first player during the 2012 season to intercept Tech quarterback Colby Cameron, who had an NCAA season-record 444 pass attempts with an interception before being picked off by Davis…Returned his next pass theft 59 yards for a touch-down and posted four tackles in the regular season finale vs. Idaho…Closed out his career with an eight-tackle performance (7 solos) and a pass deflection in a 41-15 defeat of Toledo in the Idaho Potato Bowl.
Davis earned Academic All-WAC honors during his first season at Utah State…Played in all thirteen games, but an elbow injury in preseason camp prevented him from securing a full-time job, as he started just three contests – vs. Louisiana Tech, Idaho and Nevada…
Recorded 35 tackles (21 solos) with 3.5 stops for losses of 12 yards and six pass break-ups…Logged a season-high ten tackles in Idaho game, while adding seven more in Nevada contest…Posted two pass break-ups in Wyoming clash.
Davis transferred to De Anza (Cupertino, Cal.) College after Western Washington dropped its football program…Started all ten games for the Dons, recording 35 tackles (23 solos) with four stops for losses of 10 yards and eight pass deflections, adding 62 yards on six punt returns (10.33 avg) during the regular season…Led the state junior colleges with eight interceptions for 90 yards in returns that included a pair of touchdowns…Received first-team All-Golden Gate Conference and first-team All-California Region II honors, as he helped the Dons to the Golden Gate Conference title and the Central Division Bowl.
Davis enrolled at Western Washington University and red-shirted in 2008…Planed on playing at the school in 2009, but just before the fall semester, administration dropped their football program.
2011 Season…Davis suffered an elbow injury during training camp of the 2011 season and limited his play earlier on in the year.
4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.50 10-yard dash…2.51 20-yard dash…4.02 20-yard shuttle…
6.52 three-cone drill…35 ½-inch vertical jump…10’7” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…31 ¼-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands…74-inch wingspan.
Davis attended Central Valley (Veradale, Wash.) High, but only played football for head coach Rick Giampietri as a senior…Earned second-team All-Greater Spokane League honors that campaign, logging seven interceptions, while also tallying 33 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a defensive back…Also played wide receiver, making sixteen catches for 135 yards and four touchdowns…Also lettered three times in basketball and four in track…Honorable mention All-Great Spokane League pick and team MVP as a senior in basketball and was a two-year starter, averaging 11.9 points per game during his final season…As a sophomore, he played on the hoops team that was Class 4A state runner-up after compiling a 23-7 record under head coach Rick Sloan…In track, he placed third in the triple jump at the state track meet as a senior and was regional champion as a junior, posting a personal record triple jump of 46-0…Also served as Associated Student Body President and was a Diversity “DREAM” award honoree in 2007-08.
Interdisciplinary Studies, earning Academic All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2011….Son of Francis Watkins and Shon Davis…Born 5/08/90..Resides in Spokane, Washington.