The best inside linebacker in the country says he is a week away from announcing his official visits, and he has an idea of where he’ll be headed.
Ben Davis, the 5-star linebacker from Gordo, Ala., told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that he’s firm on four of his five official visits.
“I know for a fact I’ll probably go to Florida State, LSU, Alabama and Auburn,” Davis said. “And I’m debating if it’s going to be Georgia or USC for my fifth one.”
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker is rated as the No. 16 overall player in the country and the No. 2 in his state. And though he’s reported 24 offers, it appears that each of the six schools he’s mentioned are at the forefront of his recruitment.
“I’d say those are the ones coming at me the hardest,” Davis said. “Week-by-week, coaches see how I’m doing and things like that. Those would be the top ones coming at me the hardest.”
Davis went in-depth with the AJC’s SECCountry.com on his relationship with the above-mentioned programs:
On Alabama: “They’re right down the road. It’s basically a hometown school. I can go over there whenever. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff — (defensive coordinator Kirby Smart), coach (Nick) Saban, (defensive line coach) Bo Davis. I’d say we have a really great relationship.”
Davis says Alabama envisions using him as an inside linebacker, similar to what former Crimson Tide linebacker Dont’a Hightower played during his tenure. Davis said Alabama’s proximity to Gordo is an advantage in that he can visit the school so often.
On Auburn: “I have a great relationship with coach (Will) Muschamp and (linebackers coach Lance Thompson). They talk to me all the time. They’re kind of right down the road, too. Whenever I get a chance, I can see the campus, the people and how the coaches react to each other.”
Despite Auburn’s recent struggles, Davis says he isn’t at all concerned.
“I know how coach Muschamp is,” Davis said. “He’s in the rebuilding process. He’s just trying to get them back on board. I can really see myself down there helping them out on defense.”
Davis said Muschamp and co. see him flashing at the Buck position. It’s the role former Florida standout Dante Fowler, Jr. and Texas product Brian Orakpo each starred at under Muschamp.
On UGA: “I talk to (Sam linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer). We talk almost every week. We’re really close with each other. He’s like a second father to me.”
Davis unofficially visited UGA a handful of times last year. He walked away impressed by the coaching staff and the program’s facilities.
“My first time there, I actually fell in love with it. Sherrer told me they’re supposed to be building an indoor facility pretty soon. It’s a nice campus, nice people. Coach (Mark) Richt, I got to meet him for the first time. He’s really cool, nice and down to Earth.”
On LSU: “(Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele), he’s actually from Gordo. He was at Alabama and I had a great relationship with him when he was there. He moved to LSU, and him and I just stayed in touch. We just kept talking. I went down there for an unofficial in the spring and I loved it. I’m definitely going to go there for a night game. I’m not sure which one yet. I think the more I go down there, the more I’m going to like it.”
Like Alabama, LSU envisions using Davis as an inside linebacker.
On FSU: “I like Tallahassee. I went down there during the summer. (Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly) and I talked. It kind of reminded me of Alabama. They have a great tradition. They won the national championship a few years back. They’re about their business. They work every day and they dominate on the field. That’s why they’re one of my top schools.”
Davis told SECCountry.com that he’ll announce his decision on National Signing Day.