Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
After a crash course on playing in the secondary in the Big 12, JD aims to take that next step in year two.
Welcome back to another installment in our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! With just four days remaining, the Oklahoma Sooners ’ return to college football is nearly upon us. Speaking of No. 4, I want to highlight a defender who played a bunch of snaps as a true freshman in 2019, and now seeks a much larger role on the field with a full season under his belt. I’m talking about sophomore cornerback Jaden Davis !
Coming from the legendary high school football factory known as St. Thomas Aquinas, Davis was a consensus four-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native chose OU over the likes of Florida, Georgia and Ohio State, just to name a few. Though he was not an early-enrollee, his talent was too good to keep off the field.
Early on, Davis made his presence known to all Sooner fans watching. In Week Two against South Dakota, he registered the first interception of his career in style.
True freshman Jaden Davis gets the interception.#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/7UtSgH3Dza
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 8, 2019
For years, Oklahoma’s defensive struggles have largely been attributed to poor depth and a lack of talent across the board, but especially in the secondary. As a true freshman, Davis offered a glimpse of how the Sooners’ defense could perform as a whole on a consistent basis with the effort he displayed on the field. In the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech, analyst Joel Klatt spoke about how Davis is one of the team’s best tackling defensive backs. The play below is an excellent example of that ultra-valuable skill.
Jaden Davis shuts down the reverse and gets love from Joel Klatt.
“OU fans … this is your best defensive back. I’m just gonna tell you right now.”#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/0NKMJb5v1U
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 28, 2019
Not only does Davis tackle well in space, he has the ability to lower the boom when necessary. Check out this quality thump he dropped on a UCLA ball-carrier to shut down a possible third-down conversion.
Jaden Davis breaks out the hit stick for a 3rd down stop. UCLA then missed the field goal.#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/ed6FyqfCGF
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 15, 2019
In 14 games played with one start, Jaden Davis recorded 33 tackles, including 26 solo stops. He also defended two passes to go along with his one INT. Going into the 2020 season, Davis is in a battle for the starting cornerback spot opposite Tre Brown . Before the official depth chart is released, it would appear that his biggest competition in that regard is Tre Norwood , who is returning to the lineup following a preseason injury one year ago. If Norwood winds up at nickel, Davis could very well be a starter come Sept. 12, and well on his way to fulfilling his personal goal of being named a Jim Thorpe Award winner.
I will be the 4th Jim Thorpe winner at The University of Oklahoma.
Speaking it into existence.
— Jaden Davis (@Jayd4_) June 9, 2020
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