football Edit

Late-rising DL Jonathan Davis chooses Mississippi State

Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County defensive lineman Jonathan Davis went from an unknown prospect in Mississippi to one of the most coveted recruits in the region entering National Signing Day in February.

It's been a whirlwind of a month for Davis. Planning to play JUCO football, Davis blew up on the recruiting scene weeks ahead of the second signing period.

Texas extended an offer on January 21. Mississippi State and Ole Miss followed suit quickly afterwards. Even Florida quietly tried to become involved in the final stages.

"I wasn't expecting this," Davis told "It's been fun, but it's also become stressful."

Mississippi State and Ole Miss emerged as the two contenders to land his signature. Both staffs hosted Davis on campus for an official visit, rolling out the red carpet for the defensive lineman. He enjoyed both as he got a closer look at each school.

In the end, the relationships that he built in Starkville won out. From the staff to those on the roster, Davis felt comfortable.

"I trust the coaches up there," said Davis. "Plus, I know a lot of the players that are there already. I have some big relationships."

The Bulldogs have a strong history of sending defensive linemen to the next level. That is something that Davis is very familiar with. Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner made sure to use that in his recruiting pitch.

"He told me that he sees what he saw in Chris Jones and Jeffery Simmons in me. That means a lot," Davis said.

Davis sees himself contributing in Starkville early. His 6-5, 305-pound frame and athletic ability allows him to play all over the defensive front. His decision provides first-year head coach Zach Arnett with an important head-to-head win over an in-state rival on the recruiting trail to close out the cycle.