Terps pledge Sean Davis 'unbelievably smooth'
Mike Engelberg told Sean Davis' parents up front that their son would play college football.
That assertion may have seemed somewhat farfetched at the time, considering Davis was just a 125-pound freshman. But Engelberg, the head football coach at Washington’s Maret School, was confident – and realistic – about Davis’ long-term potential.
“I was honest with him. His size would dictate what level [he would play],” Engelberg said. “Had he not grown to 6-1 and was instead a 5-8, 5-9 corner, he’d be a hell of a Division II or 1-AA player. But he turned into a Division I kid. Coming into last year, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he was a mid- to high-Division I player. It was just a matter of getting schools to take a real look at him.”
Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland and North Carolina were among the many Division I programs to offer Davis a scholarship. Late last week, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back committed to the Terps.
“He developed an incredible relationship with Coach [Randy] Edsall,” Engelberg said. “He did an unbelievable job recruiting him.”
Davis, a Temple Hills native, started his Maret career as an undersized player who saw some backup time for the varsity squad as a freshman. Engelberg said Davis’ development was gradual, but his long arms were an indicator that a growth spurt was in his future.
“Obviously, he’s no longer small,” Engelberg said. “He’s always been just an absolutely devastating hitter. He had a little body, but as he kept growing and getting bigger and stronger, he’s just the same player – just in a pro player’s body.”
Maret, a private school with just 300 students in its upper school, typically sends its best football players to Ivy League, Patriot League and NESCAC schools. Davis, however, was an exception to the rule. He first got on Maryland’s radar when former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin was recruiting Maret wide receiver Ryan Simpson, who eventually ended up at Harvard.
“Then Sean hit it off with Coach Edsall at Connecticut’s camp last summer,” Engelberg said. “Once Edsall got the Maryland job, we got him to camp. Truth be told, he [earned his offer] at camp with the way he ran. They knew he could play, but when he ran his 40, that sealed the deal.”
Engelberg said Davis, who ran a 4.42 at Maryland’s camp, impressed the Terps coaches with his athleticism and his versatility.
“He’s unbelievably smooth,” Engelberg said. “It’s effortless when he backpedals, turns and swivels. … At the Division I level, that’s what they’re looking for more than anything – how well they move their hips. He has a nose for the football and he can get it done.”