Dallas JacksonClick Here to view this Link. is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.comClick Here to view this Link. and follow him on TwitterClick Here to view this Link..
For all the athletes making the trip to Atlanta, the chance to participate in the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge is an opportunity to validate their skills.
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln wide receiver Reggie Davis sees the event as a chance to spotlight his talent.
"I am just ready to go against the best of the best," Davis said. "I am going to be competing and trying to get better."
At 6-feet and 158 pounds, Davis feels that he has been inaccurately cast as a slot receiver, and wants to show that he can do more than come across the middle on mismatched linebackers or safeties playing down.
"I run good routes and get off the line fast," he said. "But I can stretch the field and go up to get the ball; I attack the ball; that is what I want to make sure I show out there."
The four-star talent has offers from nearly 20 major college football programs, and while he knows that most every other player on the Lakewood Stadium field will have similar numbers, he wants to show that there is separation between him and the rest.
His all-or-nothing attitude is reflective of his competitive fire, and whether that gets under the skin of other players is immaterial.
"Them liking me or not doesn't matter to me," Davis said. "I am not coming there to play someone else's game. They are going to have to react to my game and play me and I am going to succeed."
With 100 of the best players from across the country set to take on the invitation-only Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Davis has already looked past the instruction portion of the event and instead to the one-on-one repetitions and the all-star 7-on-7 challenge.
For him, those are the highlight of the weekend.
"It is a chance to get better," Davis said. "But I think I have very sound fundamentals and so I am looking for the one-on-one time.
"It is very important to show just how good I can be."
He is confident in his foundation and his ability, and both should be tested as he lines up against some of the best cornerbacks in the country.
"Talent doesn't beat hard work when hard work doesn't work hard," Davis said. "I am talented and I work hard. In terms of my fundamentals I am ready to go. I will just have to get up and go. It is just like that."
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If things do not go the way that Davis expects, he will just turn up his intensity, something that he feels no one can keep pace with.
"If I get shut down early, I will just play better," he said. "No one is going to get the last win on me."
Mike Farrell's take
Davis is the kind of receiver who can really give everyone fits at an event like this. He's a small, shifty slot receiver who is very tough for safeties to check and he can do some damage after the catch. The best thing to do is to try to press him and use his size against him, but he is also good at getting off the line. He could be a big key to the Southeast offense.
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