|Prattville (AL) Prattville running back Kingston Davis (center, image via 247 Sports)|
Davis is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect. As a junior in 2014, he rushed for 1,407 yards and 17 touchdowns on his way to a state championship. He claims a 4.5 forty. The quarterback on the team was Keith Washington, an incoming freshman for the Wolverines who will play corner in college.
Hit the jump for more on Davis and his commitment to Michigan.
Rivals: 3-star RB, #24 in Alabama
Scout: 3-star, #100 RB
247 Sports: 3-star, #3 FB, #1101 overall, #42 in Alabama
Davis was not really on Michigan's radar until they went into Prattville for Washington, who was committed to Cal at the time. In the process of flipping Washington, they also offered Davis in early February. It was - and is - his biggest offer. In March he set up the visit for the spring game, and he apparently really enjoyed the visit. After a day or two of swirling rumors that he would commit, he tweeted it out on Monday morning.
Davis is a well developed kid (see the picture above) whose body is already prepared for college. Along with a strong upper body, he has thick thighs and a good base. As a runner, the best part of his game is that he runs with his shoulders square to the line at all times and has good body lean. He runs behind his pads and will lower his shoulder to power through tackles from linebackers and defensive backs. He also has a good feel for seeing the hole, sliding laterally to get there, and pressing upfield. Davis also shows a couple nifty spin moves in the hole, rolls out of the grasp of defenders, and even displays an occasional stiff-arm. He falls forward after contact and should gain an extra yard or two while being tackled. Meanwhile, he catches a couple passes in his highlights, including a jumping one-hander on a screen pass.
On the negative side, Davis is not a speed demon. He is a bruiser. He rarely leaves high schoolers in the dust, which means it will be even tougher for him to break away in college. Obviously, Michigan is not recruiting him for his speed. This is potentially problematic for Michigan, because the Wolverines currently lack a speed back or a home run threat out of the backfield, unless redshirt sophomore Ty Isaac can be that guy for a couple years. Some analysts have projected Davis at fullback, but he has made it clear that he wants to be a tailback in college.
Overall, Davis seems to fit what Jim Harbaugh wants in a running back - a sturdy, between-the-tackles guy who can move the pile and maybe break off a long run if blockers get a hat on a hat. Davis won't create those plays on his own, though. I think Davis is a little quicker than De'Veon Smith and tougher to take down that Derrick Green. The first guy I thought of when watching his highlights was former Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, who was a little bit shorter but had the same kind of game.
Michigan now has five commits in the 2016 class, including an entire backfield committed in one weekend - Davis, Reese, and quarterback Brandon Peters. Washington was the first recruit from the state of Alabama in over a decade, and now Davis gives Michigan two consecutive years with an Alabama native. Several more Alabama players have been offered, but all seem to be long shots. Michigan's staff is scheduled to do a satellite camp in Prattville this summer, so this could be the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the deep south, a notoriously difficult area to reach for northern schools.
The 2016 class is currently scheduled to be 15 players strong, so with five guys in the fold, the class is one-third full. The total class size will surely continue to grow with attrition, early NFL departures, injuries, etc. It's unclear right now whether Michigan will continue to recruit other running backs, although I would certainly like to see the Wolverines get the home run hitter they have been lacking in recent years.
TTB Rating: 80 (ratings explanation)