Will USC Land Elite Linebacker Raesjon Davis?

Davis is the No.4 outside linebacker prospect for the 2021 recruiting class.
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National Signing Day is right around the corner and there is still one major prospect the Trojans hope to land come February 3. Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei linebacker Raesjon Davis has his final five narrowed down to LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Vanderbilt. Although Davis is keeping quiet about his final selection, Sports Illustrated Recruiting Analyst John Garcia Jr believes that the competition remains between the Ohio State Buckeyes and USC Trojans. 

"Those of us in the industry are really tracking this as a two horse race between the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he just visited, and of course USC the local school." said Garcia Jr. 

"Both programs are recruiting at a very high level right now. [But] who is to bet against USC here over the last several months not only in landing elite prospects but landing elite California prospects which has always been the bug-a-boo with the Trojans. When they are keeping things local things are great. When they aren't they are not. So I think Davis is another important piece into that perspective conversation of it."

Davis originally committed to the LSU Tigers in January 2020, but later de-committed on December 21, 2020. LSU remains in his top five, but recently the California native has shown interest in Ohio State and west coast options. The Mater Dei athlete took a visit to Ohio State in January, but has recently posted some "impressed" feedback with the Trojans recruiting developments for the 2021 class.

"The visit to Columbus was definitely big, and it was something that had been in the works for quite some time but when it comes to familiarity obviously nobody can offer what the Trojans can for the local linebacker prospect" said Garcia Jr.

Raesjon Davis will make his commitment announcement on Wednesday, February 3, as part of the 247Sports National Signing Day Show. Davis time slot is 11:30 a.m. [EST] and 8:30 a.m. [PST]. He plans to announce his future college on a national stage during a LIVE broadcast on CBS Sports HQ.

Here is SI All American's evaluation of Raesjon Davis.

Frame: Great length relative to height. Has a lot of room to physically mature, especially in upper half. Strong trunk built for power.

Athleticism: A true three-down linebacker with the ability to run down the line or make plays in space. Physical at the point of attack with edge ability versus the pass and run. Possesses adequate burst and bend to remain on the outside long term. Runs better than he tests with countless examples of elite closing speed.

Instincts: Possesses rare coverage instincts and ball skills for a second-level player. Appears most comfortable on the outside, with great motor skill and heavy hands in moving towards the passer. Sure tackler in space with the innate ability to combat blockers with speed or physicality.

Polish: Aggressive nature but plays well within frame and responsibility. Understands leverage versus the run and the pass and knows when to ‘fire his gun’ after play diagnosis. Strong footwork relative to given role with true spatial awareness. Can hold his own against No. 2 or 3 to the short-to-intermediate level. Can disengage in the wash or in space without giving ground. Advanced hand technique, particularly with push-pull and club moves. Has room to improve downhill ability versus the run but foundation exists.

Bottom Line: Davis is a three-down linebacker ready to make big plays against today’s offenses. He can command extra attention as a pass-rusher and hold his own against a secondary wide receiver, tight end or running back in coverage. As he adds mass and gains experience inside, especially on early downs, he could blossom into the type of defensive signal-caller you can’t take off the football field.

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