UCF, UF, FSU, UM, USF all on board in the chase for talented Villages linebacker Noor Davis

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Not a lot of people know the name Noor Davis.

But those who do know the name are some important people, especially for Noor Davis’ interests.

When you have a phone conversation with Nick Saban and a personal scholarship invitation from Will Muschamp, you must be doing something right.

Of course, the linebacker, who will also battle for the quarterback position at the Villages Charter School this coming spring, doesn’t figure he’s an under-the-radar guy. Coaches and scouts have long known about the unassuming, courteous, well spoken, 6-foot-4, 225-pound specimen with the 4.3 GPA and 4.7 speed.

“Recently, within the past month, my marketing has increased. Partially between interviews and other schools offering me, that has expanded my marketability,” Davis said last week during an interview in Coach Richard Pettus’ office at the Villages school.

“And also because the 2011 class got signed, so now they’re focusing on this class.”

He’ll win anyone over with his big smile, all-American boy looks and nice-guy demeanor. Off the field, that is. On the field, he has an impact like none other coach Richard Pettus has seen in his nine years at the school.

“He’s getting lot of interest ,there’s no doubting that,” Pettus said. “He plays in our linebacker scheme where we walk him up to the line of scrimmage a lot, and he can also drop back in coverage. He’s definitely an impact player.

“Noor is a very humble and very appreciative young man who is taking all this recruiting in stride talking to everyone and being up front.”

UCF was the first school to come knocking and it was early.

“David Kelly was recruiting me when I was going into my junior year and actually offered me over the summer last year,” Davis said. “UCF has had that confidence in me since I was young, over a year ago, before I even had the breakout year that I did. I really appreciate that and I have a lot of respect for their program, their coaches and their players.”

He’ll be headed to the invite-only junior day at UCF in two weeks. The Knights were really the only ones on board for a while, but after last season, many programs become members of the Noor Davis Fan Club.

“Within the past two, maybe three weeks I picked up 12, so now I’m at 13,” he said. Since the interview, Davis has gained more offers and currently has 18.

What Davis has accomplished on the field speaks for itself. He had 97 tackles last season, including 7.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and two fumbles recovered.

“Usually if you can get one or two D-I schools to offer, then everybody else wants on board. He’s just going to take the next few months to figure out what’s best,” Pettus said.

The interesting thing about Davis this year will be his opportunity to play quarterback. He’s already seen some game action at QB in the past, and says he’s ready for the task.

“He’ll play offense in the flex-bone … we run a lot of option,” Pettus said, “but primarily he’ll be the one who holds down our defense. When you lose 20 seniors out of 31 players,  he’s going to have to play a little bit more offense, but he’s smart, intelligent and a great student of the game and I don’t have any worries about him taking over as QB.”

But make no mistake. This is a college football linebacker. His quarterbacking days will be over once the bell tolls on the New Year of 2012.

“Alabama, Florida and Ohio State all said I’m one of the top three outside linebackers in the nation,” Davis said. “That’s coming from Coach Muschamp’s mouth, coming from coach Sal Sunseri (Alabama assistant) and coach Nick Saban’s mouth and also from up at Ohio State.

“But I think I can be successful playing quarterback, as well, leading this team to some victories.”

The Villages went 9-2 last season, losing in the first round of the 1A state playoffs to a stacked Fort Meade team 48-14.

As for UCF, Davis seems pretty high on the Knights, but he doesn’t publicly have a favorite, but he did say that winning the Conference USA title and the Liberty Bowl over Georgia does nothing but help the Knights in the eyes of potential prospects.

“It expands their recruitment so much. Many players want to come to them now because they knocked out a top-tier program in Georgia,” Davis said. “They had a great season, they won a lot of games and their program is turning around. They are going to be a very successful program for many years to come.”

And so where do they stand with Davis?

“I’ll definitely have them in consideration,” Davis said. “It’s a close-by school. It’s a good program and it has the ability to become a great program. They have great coaches and great players who work hard.”

His offers so far are from UCF, Florida, Florida State, Miami, USF, Alabama, Boston College, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia,  UCLA, and Saturday (March 6) Ohio State climbed on board.

“I went to Florida’s junior day and Coach Muschamp offered me personally,” Davis said.

He also plans to visit schools on a whirlwind spring break trip that will take him to Notre Dame, Ohio State,  Boston College, Pittsburgh and Virginia.

“But other than that, I’ve spoken to Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher on the phone,” Davis said. ‘I spoke with Coach Rick Neuheisel from UCLA. It’s neat. It’s a great experience, but my parents and my younger brother (Gabriel) keep me grounded and keep me focused. It’s truly a great experience in my life.”

Gabriel Davis is seven years old.

“He’s going to be big,” big brother said. “He’s bigger than I was at that age and he’s fast too.”

Coach Saban, Fisher, Muschamp … better keep that phone number handy.

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com.

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