For the second consecutive weekend, a major domino fell in favor of LSU on the 2021 recruiting trail. After receiving a commitment from Lafayette safety Sage Ryan hours before the Auburn game, the Tigers landed fellow safety Derrick Davis out of Pennsylvania.
The addition of Davis is an absolute monster acquisition to the 2021 class as it gives LSU two of the top safety prospects in the country and two players who could mold the future of the LSU secondary. For many months, the belief was that Davis was Penn State bound but a reported recent visit to Baton Rouge completely swung the needle in favor of the purple and gold.
We caught up with SI All-American recruiting director John Garcia to get his thoughts on what the Davis commitment means for the Tigers’ recruiting class and how he fits what the defense wants to do moving forward:
"Adding SI99 defensive back Derrick Davis was another major win for LSU in the secondary as well as overall, as the Tigers have bolstered their skill position numbers in the class over the last week or so.
The Pennsylvania native joins fellow defensive back projection Sage Ryan as SI99 members to pick Coach O and company over the last two Saturdays, adding to a group already including an SI99 cornerback in Nathaniel Wiggins as well as in-state safety Matthew Langlois and Peach Stater Khari Gee. The Tigers immediately contend for one of the top secondary hauls in the nation with Davis on board.
Given what LSU has looked like in the secondary in 2020, the combination of top-end talent and volume now on board in the 2021 cycle addresses immediate needs and offers Corey Raymond some flexibility on the back end with lengthy, rangy prospects who could occupy multiple spots within the group as needed.
Davis, in particular, is a two-way talent with ideal size and traits to project as a safety. He is 6-foot-1, right around 200 pounds with great awareness, ball tracking ability and instincts to make plays in both the passing game and in run support. He is at his best as a true last line of defense, in single-high situations, where he can play between the numbers and showcase a balanced display of speed and quickness.
Improvements can be made from a technical standpoint, particularly with fundamentals like backpedaling on a low plane and exploding out of breaks and transitions more consistently, but the lower-body power and twitch he shows on both sides of the ball display the tools to make that jump. Davis holds his own in the box, flashes physicality at the point of contact and plays comfortable in underneath coverage enough to work as the 'down' safety or even sub defender earlier in his career while his technique blossoms. He offers a counter to the raw torque of Ryan or the lengthy man coverage skill of Wiggins. The blend of this trio, in particular, should combine to lead to instant impact status even at a program known for talent at the position like LSU.
The Tigers could be in striking distance of a top three class when all is said and done, the type of move up after winning a national championship one would expect. LSU was fifth in the class of 2020 recruiting rankings on SI All-American and sat in the same spot in the October update."