Trieu: Michigan State gets head start on 'manchild' Ohio running back Torrance Davis
Around this time a year ago, Michigan State went into Ohio and offered a big, talented, but somewhat under-the-radar running back in Brandon Wright, who wound up signing with the Spartans.
This year, a similar situation is playing out with Cleveland Glenville’s Torrance Davis. Davis was not a well-known prospect entering the winter months, but as colleges have found their way to him, his offer list has grown to 13.
One of those was Michigan State. Bill Greene, who covers the state of Ohio for 247Sports, believes the Spartans are in the lead, despite Davis saying he is only just beginning the process of learning more about the schools interested in him.
"I haven't focused too much on my recruitment, and I'm more concerned with making myself into a better player," Davis said.
“The Michigan State offer was huge to him,” Greene said, “especially coming on the heels of the unofficial visit that was a '10' according to people close to Davis. In terms of style of play, Davis is very similar to LJ Scott, and he fits the Spartan offense to a T.”
Ted Ginn Sr. has coached many athletes at Glenville who have gone on to play in college at various levels and several of them, including his own son, are playing in the NFL. He saw the talent in Davis early after hearing whispers about him as a youth.
“I have coached him all three years in high school,” Ginn said. “But he has been in the community, so we knew about him as a young child, and he always had that potential ever since he was a little kid.”
That kid has grown into a physical specimen that passes the look test.
“He is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and a manchild,” Ginn said. “He looks like a defensive end or a linebacker. He runs 4.4-4.5, and if you look at the film, he’s a physical runner, a downhill guy, but you can also see him at wideout. So when you see him, he looks like a linebacker or safety because he’s humongous, but he’s a very talented athlete.”
Ginn encourages his players to take their time with recruiting. With Davis, a sudden burst of recruiting attention could go to a recruit’s head, but that has not been an issue.
“He is very humble,” Ginn said. “It is a new thing for him, but he is handling like a young man should.”
Michigan State getting Davis on campus and allowing him to spend time with their staff was key early in the process, because when he does make a decision, the staff he plays for will play a big role.
“I just know him as his coach and mentor,” Ginn said, “and I know that he is a relationship-type guy, so he will choose the school that is good for him relationship-wise.”
247Sports ranks Davis as the No. 9 junior prospect in Ohio.
He has additional offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and more.
MSU hosting visitors over the weekend
Michigan State will have football visitors on campus for Saturday when the Spartans have an important basketball game at home against Michigan.
Two in-state prospects of note who will be there are Southfield A&T defensive tackle Bryce Austin and Sterling Heights Stevenson offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi.
Austin, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound junior, has a Michigan State offer and recently said the Spartans were one of his top schools, along with Purdue.
El-Hadi is a 6-foot-6, 275-pound sophomore who has gone from no offers to six in a short window. He does not have an offer from Michigan State yet, but was on campus in February and is returning again.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.