Kyle Davis is a high priority for the Georgia Bulldogs. That’s not up for debate. They’ve targeted him and made him a priority for quite some time now, and many feel that its the pressure coming out of Athens (all positive of course) that made Davis rethink his early commitment to South Carolina.
That said, a lot of folks feel Davis will end up signing with the Georgia Bulldogs, before it’s all said and done, but at least one very close family member sees things differently and, while his son performs at The Opening in Oregon this week, that member has made it clear that those who believe it’s all about the ‘G’ may need to reconsider their information.
“With the spread offense that Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina run, they really compliment him,” Kyle’s father, Ron Davis, told AL.com Wednesday during The Opening in Oregon. “It’s always good to go into something that you know. I just don’t see UGA being one that would actually develop him as well as some of the other schools would.
“I know Georgia is giving him a lot of hype about what they’re doing… but Kyle needs to go to a school that best enhances his skill and somewhere that can prepare him for the next level.” (Wesley Sinor, AL.com)
The fact that Kyle’s father is speaking out on this, and in such a blunt fashion, could mean that Davis is less enamored of any one school than he is with the process of being recruited—at least for the moment. After all, Davis has tried hard to make sure that people understand he’s not leaning anywhere; he’s taking his visits, assessing each situation on its merit, and trying to make sure his next decision is one he can live with long term.
Good on him for that, but it’s also clear that his parents will play a big role in this one and I’m no longer certain that when the parents get really involved that there’s any amount of a prospect’s relationship with a staff that can be overcome.
It’s also important to remember that the Bulldogs are a school that most other programs can throw a fair bit of negativity at because of their emphasis on the run game over the last several seasons. Schools like Auburn (the school some are beginning to believe is gaining a lot of traction with Davis, particularly with the parental set) and Tennessee can point to players like Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, along with the uncertain situation at quarterback, and say Davis would be hard-pressed to thrive in such a situation.
Furthermore, the introduction of cost of attendance means athletes get larger stipends than ever before, but the discrepancy of that stipend, from university to university, is still a sore spot and plenty of schools will be on the wrong side of those numbers.
Case in point, both Tennessee (another contender) and Auburn can currently offer a player better than $5000 per year towards their stipend, while Georgia is offering less than $3000.
Granted, you would hope that a stipend wouldn’t come into play when a prospect is considering his collegiate options, but it’s naive to believe there won’t be any thought to it whatsoever—particularly in the case of a prospect that comes from a low-income household and needs all the help he can get.
End of the day, Davis will either sign with Georgia or he won’t, but you can no longer take for granted that this is a race where Georgia will continue to have a solid lead.