Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway has a history of producing big time prospects and it looks like Derrick Davis is the next one. The freshman plays all over the field and has no problem competing against older, more mature players. Davis picked up his first offer this week when the Pittsburgh Panthers pulled the trigger after he visited for the North Carolina game.
IN HIS OWN WORDS…
"It was a good experience at the Pitt game even though they came out with the loss," Davis said. "The coaches are really cool. Coach (Pat) Narduzzi coached Montae Nicholson who went to Gateway. Seeing Montae now, you can tell coach Narduzzi is a good coach.
"They didn’t offer me at a specific position because I’m all over the field," he said. "I’m so young that they want to see how I develop. I like playing outside linebacker.
"Penn State is really nice," said Davis. "I was there for the Michigan game. It was a crazy atmosphere and it was a night game so it was unbelievable. I know coach Terry (Smith) pretty well. I respect him. He’s a good man and a Gateway person. Being from Gateway means a lot.
"My dad played for Michigan State," he said. "I grew up watching Florida because of Tim Tebow and the uniforms. I’m a real Bama fan. I have a lot of family down there and I’m a Nick Saban fan. My dad was born in Alabama but moved up to Cleveland later on. He has like seven cousins that go to Alabama and four that go to Auburn."
Davis has the look of a national prospect even as a freshman. Pittsburgh was smart to offer him first and it is so important for the Panthers to do everything they can to keep the local prospects from heading elsewhere. The early offer is a good step as the Panthers try to accomplish that goal. Penn State has a great connection with Davis already because of Terry Smith's relationships to Gateway as the former head coach. Davis clearly thinks very highly of Smith and that could pay dividends for Penn State down the line. Expect offers to come Davis' way in bunches as he gets older.