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September 12, 2007With the passing game in Texas high school football at a level that it has never been before, the Lone Star State is producing Division I quarterbacks en masse. The spread offense has become the rage and teams are piling up yards through the air.
However, this development has seemingly had a negative effect on one area of the game- the cornerback.
Players who are ideally suited for the position have instead chosen to play on the offensive side of the ball, piling up stats at wide receiver. It is hard to find a true blue-chip cornerback these days, but it seems there is a definite one in the class of 2009.
Marcus Davis, a 6-foot-1, 185 pound prospect from Clear Creek High School in League City, is already generating heavy interest from college coaches due to his rare combination of size and athleticism. Even though his team is primarily a passing team, Davis is perfectly content playing on the defensive side of the ball.
"We run a little bit of the West Coast offense," said Davis. "They put me at running back and they get pitches to me and bubbles and screens and stuff. But I'm definitely a defender.
"I usually play corner but sometimes my coach puts me at safety. Last week, we played Kingwood and they are an option team and so I played strong safety. I also played corner some too because they were beating us on some routes. I ended up getting an interception after I moved over when they threw it up on a fade route."
After an opening week loss to Klein Forest, Davis said it was a lot better feeling after Clear Creek beat Kingwood 41-30. Part of that could have to do with the statistics that he put up in the contest.
"Klein Forest was running away from my side the whole night," he said. "That was frustrating, but Kingwood tried coming at me a lot. I ended up with quite a few tackles and the interception. It just felt good to be part of the action after that first week.
"On special teams, I returned a kickoff for a touchdown. I think they said it went officially for 100 yards. Also, on the kickoff team I also forced a fumble."
While Davis is fully concentrating on his junior season, he has started to focus on recruiting a little bit as well. He recently had time to take in a college game.
"I went to (Texas) A&M when they played Montana State," he said. "That was awesome. I didn't know that the crowd stood up the whole time. I had never been to a game at Kyle Field before. It was a lot like what I expected but I didn't think there would be as many people there as there were. Even though it was just Montana State, the stadium was full."
However, this was not the first trip to College Station for the top 2009 prospect.
"I went out there this summer on sort of an unofficial visit," said Davis. "I went with a good friend of mine, Patrick Johnson from Florida. We went up there one day and looked around. The athletic facilities were really nice but what impressed me most was the focus on academics. They make sure that you are going to do well in class and get your degree."
Davis says that he has known Johnson, the nation's no. 1 rated corner in the 2008 class, for a while. He also knows several current players on the A&M team.
"We've worked out a lot together before," he said. "He was in Houston and we decided to go check A&M out when he was here. I know that he was really impressed and he is serious about the Aggies.
"I know Martellus Bennett because he and my sister are good friends. They've known each other since back in high school. I know Mike Goodson too."
Davis says that it is early but that the Aggies are definitely high on his list of schools.
"They are definitely up there," he said of A&M. "I've gotten to know coach Pope and coach Malone pretty well. They told me that I am high on their list of defensive backs for next year.
"I went to a camp out at USC this summer and they want me to come back next summer for the Rising Stars camp. I've been to a few games at Texas before and I like LSU too. I've been hearing from a lot of schools like Kansas State and Houston too."
Clear Creek is in action this weekend at Baytown Lee on Friday night. The Ganders are historically known to have a pass-heavy offense and that is music to Davis' ears.
"It's tough when we play running teams like Kingwood," he said. "I'm ready for this week because they have some really good receivers and I want to go and prove myself against the best."
As a sophomore in 2006, Davis finished with five interceptions and 67 tackles. He also averaged just shy of 30 yards per kickoff return on eight attempts.