INSIDE SLANT: QB Taylor Davis

INSIDE SLANT:  QB Taylor Davis

Northwest Region Offensive Player of the Year and All-State recognition. Idaho commit TAYLOR DAVIS earned these honors after a season in which he threw for 2,357 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just six picks in 218 attempts (64% completion), leading Boulder Creek (Ariz.) High School to the second round of the playoffs in just its third year of existence. Inside he talks about his commitment to Idaho.

It is no secret that one of the main focuses this recruiting cycle is improving Idaho's quarterback depth chart. For the last two seasons redshirt sophomore Nathan Enderle has been the Vandals starting quarterback, but each of the last two seasons have involved varying levels of panic at the prospect of an Enderle injury. For two years, depth at quarterback has been an issue. A serious issue. Two years ago Idaho was forced to move true freshman Quin Ashley, a gifted athlete who was settling into the safety position, to quarterback mid-season when Enderle suffered a hand injury. Last year Enderle went the distance, but the depth chart was lean – there was a serious dropoff in what the offense could do had Enderle been injured.

Although the issue will be improved this year as well-regarded freshman Justin Morales comes off a redshirt year, concerns about the overall depth are still there - or at least it looks like they "were" there.

Last week Idaho received a major verbal commitment from Brian Reader, a solid JC transfer who will compete as a redshirt sophomore in 2009 and is currently on the Idaho campus for spring camp. He'll provide the immediate boost Idaho's QB depth chart needs in battling for the starting job next season, and gives Idaho the horses to fill in if the starter - Enderle, Morales, or Reader - goes down.

With Reader boosting Idaho's immediate quarterback needs, at least one high school senior will also be brought in to build the depth chart for the years ahead.


Davis completed 64% of his passes for 26 touchdowns.
Looking towards the future, Idaho received a verbal pledge from standout Taylor Davis, a 6-4, 200 pound athlete out of Boulder Creek (Ariz.) High School near Phoenix. To punctuate an impressive senior season in which he threw for 2,357 yards, 26 touchdowns and just six interceptions on the year, he was also named All-League, Northwest Region Offensive Player of the Year, and an honorable mention All-State pick. He led his team to the second round of the Arizona Class 5A State playoffs and his school's first Division II Northwest Region championship.

Impressive accomplishments by any measure for the two-year starter, especially considering he led a program in just its third year of existence.

"I'd say my biggest strength is my arm, I have a pretty strong arm," Davis told Scout.com last week when asked what he will bring to the field at Idaho. "And, I'm a good leader out on the field."

"As a starter my first year, we weren't that good. I think we went 3-7 my junior year. This year we went 9-3 and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Our varsity team is three years old, and this was coach [Dan] Friedman's second year. His first year was kinda rough, but Coach Friedman is a good coach and our second year we were good."

Between his junior and senior seasons, Taylor also took part in the EA Sports quarterback camps (among others). At the Las Vegas EA Sports Elite 11 Camp he was at his best, in a camp featuring 48 top gunslingers from 17 states. Impressively made the Final Four of the "Golden Arm" Challenge, taking second in the accuracy competition, just one point behind Josh Nunes (bound for Stanford), and battled overall winner Bryn Renner (North Carolina verbal) for the title. He's a very accurate passer who possesses a strong arm, and has the mobility to pass on the run.

From the EA Sports Elite 11 recap:

"Davis might be the top QB prospect in Arizona this class. The 6-4, 200 pounder has plus arm strength, a good setup and delivery and was obviously quite accurate all day long. While not a well-known name, Davis threw with - and matched - all the best throw-for-throw.
Taylor Davis at EA Sports Elite 11 Camp.

Davis visited the Idaho campus in December after establishing a relationship with Offensive Coordinator Steve Axman last spring. "Coach Axman was out here for spring ball, and he watched me throw. He came out to our spring practice and I met him there. Ever since then we stayed in touch, and they made that offer three or four games into the season. We stayed in touch when he came out here, and that's when I found out about Idaho."

One of the attractions to Idaho was the West Coast style of offense the Vandals run, which is similar to the offense he ran at Boulder Creek. "We were mostly under center in the spread," Davis said. "We mostly spread it out and threw the ball. When we didn't throw the ball we went to the I-formation. We did most of everything."

He was hosted on his trip by starting quarterback Nathan Enderle and the two got along immediately. "When I took the visit I verballed to Idaho," he told Scout.com. When asked what drove his decision, he didn't miss a beat. "The coaches. The coaches were like family – they seemed like they really cared. And the program just seemed really cool. I wanted to build on the program."

It was the players that were instrumental in sealing the deal. "I met most of the guys [players on the team]. There are two other guys from Arizona [Guy Reynolds and Ron Mallory] that are already there – they redshirted last year – and I got to meet them. I met a lot of the players. [Nathan Enderle] was a really cool guy, I got along with him very well."


Davis is particularly interested in the direction Idaho is taking its offense in the coming years. "Coach Axman said they're going to go back to more throwing – try to put more throwing plays in there – and that's what I like to hear, mostly throwing."

It wasn't just the type of plays Idaho will start running either. "Coach Axman is great with quarterbacks, and that attracted me a lot, coach Axman."

Davis likely will redshirt next fall, but he'll be expecting to compete for playing time soon. And he may not be the only freshman coming in this fall to compete for playing time in the years ahead.

"Coach Axman is planning on redshirting me right now," Davis told Scout.com about his expectations for next fall. "Idaho got a junior college quarterback [Brian Reader], and today or yesterday they got another high school quarterback. But they're planning on redshirting me right now."

After focusing much attention the last two recruiting cycles on building overall team depth – with a heavy focus on the trenches – it looks like Idaho is making serious strides in the quarterback depth chart, with Reader, Davis, and possibly another freshman quarterback in the mix.


PLAYER PROFILE: Taylor Davis, 6-4, 200, QB



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