Driven to improve

After rushing for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) running back Mike Davis is drawing comparisons to former Stephenson standout and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Kregg Lumpkin, who was an All-American in 2002.

"Mike Davis is right there with Kregg Lumpkin," said Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell. "It's funny because I have this same conversation with my coaches all the time. Who's better, Kregg or Mike? I tell you, Mike is not far off. Kregg could do it all. He had speed, power and can catch. Mike has those things too and is very talented. The big difference and maybe the only difference between them is that Kregg could finish off runs a little better. That's something Mike is working on."

However, finishing off runs isn't the only thing Davis wants to work on.

"I have the ability to break tackles and I want to get stronger," said the ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect. "I can cut back, have great feet and can make people miss but I want to get quicker. I can run right by you but I want to get faster. I love to block for my teammates and I can catch too. But I want to make sure that I work everyday to fine tune all of these things."

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Davis, who transferred from Douglass High School in Atlanta as a sophomore, already has close to two dozen offers including Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Auburn, North Carolina, Florida State and Clemson.

This weekend, he and some teammates are traveling to Gainesville for an unofficial visit and there are even rumors Davis could make his commitment to the Gators Saturday.

"My birthday is Feb. 19 and people have been saying that I will commit to Florida down there," Davis said. "Maybe I will, maybe I won't. You never know what may happen."

Davis is also expected to visit Tennessee Feb. 26 and then follow up with another visit to Tuscaloosa.

"I talked with [Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns] on Thursday," Davis said. "I like Alabama like the others and I think they may have offered me. I want to see them this spring as well as many schools as possible. I want to get to know these coaches out there."

Whether Davis is close to a decision or not, he's beginning to figure out what deciding factors are important to him.

"I want to pick the place that best fits me," Davis said. "I know academics are big because I know there is life after football. Playing time is key, but I also hope there are some older players there that I can learn from. That's important for young guys coming on. Right now I am keeping my options open and we shall see what falls into place."

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.