Manny Diaz expects early enrollee DE Thomas Davis to make big impact

Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

Thomas Davis was a 2021 signee and early enrollee that head coach Manny Diaz expects to make, in his words, a real big impact for the Miami Hurricanes. Diaz was quoted by Inside the U summarizing the skills Davis will bring to the Miami football team when he signed in December 2020.

Davis was a high school teammate of 2022 Miami commit, four-star quarterback Jacurri Brown at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia. Davis recorded 102 tackles, had 30 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in four seasons of high school. Davis had 94 tackles and 29 TFLs with all 14.5 sacks during his final two seasons.

Davis was primarily an inside linebacker in high school but will be an edge rusher for Miami.  Four-star defensive end Jabari Ishmael and Davis are the only edge rushers the Hurricanes signed in the class of 2021. After losing first-round pick Jaelan Phillips and sixth-round pick Quincy Roche competition will be open at edge rusher.

Zack McCloud who moved from LB to DE and Tennessee transfer DeAndre Johnson are the projected starters for Miami. Davis will likely need time to develop but the Miami coaching staff likes his potential. Manny Diaz spoke about Davis earlier this year. Diaz praised Davis’ athleticism.

"“All you’ve got to see is his get-off. He’s shot out of a cannon back there at the quarterback. Really, really unique in his ability to get after the ball. His athletic numbers are all off the charts. He played some linebacker for his high school team this past year, and I thought it was good for him to stand up.Has toughness, wants to be great, wants to be pushed. On screens, he splits and knocks the heck out of the running back. He can really do a lot of things, but he’s going to be a problem for offensive tackles in the future coming around the edge on the pass rush.”Courtesy Miami Herald"

McCloud is entering his last year of eligibility and Johnson will likely leave for the NFL Draft after his fifth season in college. Entering the 2022 season, Miami will have a lot of depth, but lack experience on the edge. The chance for Davis to make an impact on the Miami defense will likely not come until 2022.

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With Diaz resuming control of the Miami defense as the coordinator and head coach, the Hurricanes pass rush should improve in 2020. The younger edge rushers will have a chance to be part of the rotation behind McCloud and Johnson. Davis being an early enrollee and participating in spring practice will help him.