“Oh my God, it was so awesome,” Davis told B5Q on Sunday night. “I had so much fun. It was different from when I came up last weekend just to hang out with the commits. This weekend, it was a bunch of people I really didn’t know, but me knowing as much as I do about Wisconsin, being able to be there for those guys and letting know what’s it all about, I think we all got a really good bond, and they’re not even committed.”
Davis and fellow in-state standout Leo Chenal were the only verbal commits on campus for official visits last weekend, but they were joined by players still open in their recruiting process. Those included four-star lineman Rodas Johnson, four-star linebackers Lance Dixon and Nick Henrich, defensive linemen Etinosa Reuben and Gio Paez, and cornerback Semar Melvin. Paez and Melvin later committed to Wisconsin on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
“Most of these guys haven’t been up here in Wisconsin so they really don’t know what to expect,” Davis said. “We were talking and they were like, ‘You know when I came up here, I was expecting a bunch of cowboy boots and all that stuff and fields and stuff, so they weren’t really expecting Madison to be a city.”
Davis sought out to contact some of the players he would be spending time with in Madison, even before they all arrived on campus.
“I actually started texting them before the official visit, a couple of days before we all left for our official visit, just telling them I’m pumped to see you and can’t wait to meet you guys,” Davis said. “I asked what them what they already knew and how excited they are for it. Once they got here, I basically just told them what I liked about it, and I told them, ‘You, know I’m not telling you, you have to commit here, but it’s a really good place to be.’”
As some players have told B5Q in the past couple of weeks after their officials, Davis and the recruits participated in a player panel with current Badgers. He believed those currently wearing the cardinal and white really helped when answering questions last weekend.
“I actually kind of felt it because Chris Orr he was talking and he was like, ‘The main reason I really came here to Wisconsin was most other schools like Texas, or the big-time states for football, they’d be like, ‘Yeah, aren’t you No. 54, you know?’” Davis said. “Then he said, ‘I wanted to come here to Wisconsin because the people actually care about you and actually get to know you. So when you’re on the streets, they’d be like, ‘Hey Chris!’ Not ‘Hey, No. 54.’’
“So I think those players helped a lot, too, and they weren’t shy, either. They helped talked with other recruits, and we got a pretty good bond in the couple of days we were here with each other.
The official visit involved that player panel, studying film, having dinner on top of their hotel, taking a tour and trying on the uniforms, along with having dinner at head coach Paul Chryst’s house. Like other players B5Q has spoken with, the players also went out on a boat ride.
“Most of us jumped in, too, even Bryson Williams did,” said Davis, noting the true freshman nose tackle hosted the fellow Nebraska native in Henrich.
Some shenanigans aside, Davis explained the Wisconsin coaching staff got to know the players.
“They talked to us so much, and you were never pretty much alone,” Davis said. “You were not by yourself any time of the visit unless you were going in your room to sleep or shower, those were the only times. The coaches were always there checking up on you and making sure you were OK, taking your plate, asking you if you wanted a drink or something. They were just basically out there looking out for us the whole time, so that was pretty cool that they actually cared and were willing to do things for us.”
The plan for Davis is still to play running back for Wisconsin and position coach John Settle. He is the only running back commit for the Badgers currently in the recruiting cycle, and though he is unsure of whether the program will take on a second back for the 2019 class, he did have a little bit of fun with four-star quarterback Graham Mertz—who was in town the weekend of June 8 but not this past weekend.
“I actually had a little joke. Coach [Jon] Budmayr and I talked about me being a QB, messing around telling Graham that we had a second QB in the class. I did a little drop, did a little five-step drop and sent it to Graham, so just a little competition coming in,” Davis said with a laugh.
The Menomonee Falls, Wis., native, committed back in November last year and was one of the first handful of players in this class.
It appears Davis, along with the other verbal commits, are also pitching Wisconsin to a list of players in hopes of completing this upcoming class that could be UW’s highest-ranked since the dawn of the various recruiting services.
“I talked to a couple of coaches, and we made another joke that by the end of this recruiting process, how we’d be taking [Wisconsin director of player personnel] Saeed [Khalif’s] recruiting position,” Davis said. “Earlier a couple months ago, once we started seeing other guys decommit and stuff, the coaches asked me if I wanted to take the leadership role in helping recruit, and I was up for it. I was like, ‘Yeah definitely, Ill definitely come help.’”
Last week, Davis and the other commits saw Mertz shut down his recruiting process and stay committed to Wisconsin. The high three-star running back, according to 247Sports and Rivals, currently holds offers from LSU, Notre Dame and USC.
For the in-state back, who plans to take in every home game this season for the Badgers, there are not any trips planned to other schools.
“I’m not going to visit anywhere else,” Davis said. “I’m actually going to think about talking to my parents about shutting it all down. I haven’t really talked to any schools for probably like the last month, month-and-a-half, so I think I’m going to talk to my parents, but I’m 100 percent committed to Wisconsin.”