Film Study: Notre Dame QB commit Avery Davis

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

QB Avery Davis, 5-11, 192; Cedar Hill (Texas) High.

The numbers: Davis completed 128 of his 197 passes (65 percent) for 1,966 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed 110 times for 934 yards and three touchdowns in his junior season at Cedar Hill. The Longhorns (9-2) finished the season with a loss in the first round of the UIL Class 6A Division 2 playoffs.

The rankings: 247Sports – Three stars, No. 10 dual-threat quarterback. Rivals – Three stars, No. 15 dual-threat quarterback.


First impression: Davis is a multipurpose quarterback who can beat a defense with his arm or his legs. He has a knack for making the right decision after a play starts to break down. Development in the pocket should allow Davis to become a dependable college quarterback.

Strengths: Davis throws a soft ball and allows his receivers to make plays. He wastes little time when he sees an opening in the defense and delivers the ball where it needs to be. His accuracy may not be pinpoint and his technique might not always be sound, but he’s decisive and gets rid of the ball quickly. When the pass rush disrupts the play, Davis shows great balance in finding space to examine the field. He manages to keep his eyes downfield, rarely shows signs of panic and always seems to know where his receivers will be. He isn’t afraid to throw on the run or take a hit when releasing the ball. As a runner, Davis shows great vision, a strong grasp of the read option and good speed.

Proof of prowess: (:05) Davis led with this play for a reason. With a defensive lineman bearing down on him in his own end zone, Davis throws a perfect strike to his receiver down the left sideline. He hits the receiver in stride which produces a 99-yard touchdown … (1:14) The pass rush surrounds Davis, so he’s forced to step up in the pocket. He protects the ball while doing so and looks like he may have to turn it into a running play. But when Davis frees himself from the pressure, he finds a wide open receiver down the sideline and hits him for the touchdown … (8:00) Davis reads the defense and wisely decides against giving the ball to his receiver on a sweep. He finds a crease on the left side, but is quickly met by two defenders. He manages to squeeze between the two and spin out of a tackle attempt to maintain his balance and finish the play in the end zone … (8:15) Davis fakes a handoff to no one and is left in the backfield by himself to find running room. He sprints past the first line of defenders on the right, jukes the next two defenders in the open field and outruns the rest for a touchdown.

Competition level: The Cedar Hill schedule is what you’d expect to find in the football powerhouse state of Texas. The slate was littered with programs that routinely produce top college recruits. The Longhorns finished the season with a 2-2 record against teams ranked in the top 50 in Texas according to MaxPreps. Davis played with talented weapons around him, but he also faced top defensive players. The season-ending loss came against Southlake Carroll which featured cornerback Obi Eboh, a Stanford signee, and safety Robert Barnes, an Oklahoma commit.

Left to prove: Davis will likely never be able to avoid questions about his height unless he adds a late growth spurt. But his height shouldn’t prevent him from being able to produce at the college level. In order to do so, Davis must master the art of throwing in the pocket. He likely won’t be able to rely on his ability to make something out of nothing at such a high frequency with bigger and faster defenders chasing him at Notre Dame. Davis will likely need to tweak his throwing mechanics to better use his lower body and focus on completing his throwing motion.

Notre Dame quarterback commit Avery Davis runs a drill during the Irish Invasion at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday, June 18, 2016. (ND Insider Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)