This morning, Jefferson WR Andre Davis is expected to be doing his thing at the USF Sling and Shoot II, where last year he not only starred in the 7-on-7 tournament, he destroyed it.
It was there that Davis burst onto the recruiting scene, catching so many touchdown passes that "I couldn't keep count."
Between that event and this year's event, Davis caught 68 passes for 1,201 yards and 18 touchdowns to help lead the Dragons to the Class 3A state semifinals.
He went up on recruiting lists, collected a bevy of offers and watched his stock soar.
But as quickly as the buildup occurred, so did the breakdown. Questions about his speed, his route-running and whether he has gotten significantly better in the past year have clouded his 2009 kudos. Opinions of the Dragons standout seem to rise and fall like a wave.
On one hand, you have to love Davis' unsurpassed productivity and pass-catching skills.
On the other, recruiting is a numbers game, and not always the tally of catches and touchdowns.
"Yeah, I feel (the critics) are out there, but that pushes me, gives me that drive to work more and work harder," Davis said. "Everyone has their own opinion. With me, though, I just have to go out there and do what I do."
The criticism that annoys Davis the most? That he only runs one pattern, the fade.
"Not true," he said.
As for the other criticisms, Davis takes them to heart. He has been working hard this summer on getting in and out of his breaks better, and he is working with a personal trainer on things such as improving his speed — the biggest knock on him — and being more physical.
At 6-foot-2 and a lean 191 pounds, Davis is still finding his way around his body.
"There's a lot of room to grow, I know that," Davis said. "I'm still learning a bunch of different stuff. But I'm only 16. … I'm still going to get stronger, I'm still getting bigger."
Davis remains on most statewide and national recruiting lists, and he has 22 scholarship offers. Friday night, he and his parents were to travel to Gainesville for Florida's Friday Night Lights event.
The Gators haven't offered a scholarship, but Davis would certainly put them somewhere in his top eight alongside Miami, Florida State, Texas Tech, USF, Kansas, Rutgers and West Virginia if they did.
"I'm going up there for the competition," Davis said.
Which is the same reason he's looking forward to this weekend's Sling and Shoot. District foes such as Spoto, which won the BCP 9 Route tournament earlier this summer, and Lakewood are expected to attend. Both teams are considered the prime contenders in Jefferson's district, which the Dragons are favored to win.
"You like to keep an eye on those teams," he said.
With fellow Dragons WR recruit Chris Moore out after his recent hernia surgery, Davis could be the focal point for the Dragons. Or maybe he will free up someone else to burst onto the recruiting scene like he did, say Andre Holloway or a Charles Booth.
"We want to win it," said Davis, whose team was third last year. "It would be a big deal for us."
And Davis would like to again dominate the field, though this time, he'd just settle for reasserting himself as the top wide receiver recruit in Tampa Bay.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: The Gainesville Sun's list of prospects expected to attend Florida's Friday Night Lights include locals Phillip Ely (Plant, QB), Gray Crow (Countryside, QB), James Wilder (Plant, RB), Matt Jones (Armwood, RB), Ja'Juan Story (Nature Coast, WR), Jamie Byrd (Pasco, S) and Alex Dixon (Countryside, DB), to name a few.
NOTES: Recruiting analyst Rusty Mansell said that Alonso DE Anthony Chickillo was virtually unblockable during 1-on-1 drills recently at the University of Georgia. … Jefferson LB/DE Ramik Wilson recently told the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier that Purdue, Texas and Minnesota continue to be his favorites. … According to ESPN's Corey Long, Plant's three prospects — Wilder, Ely and lineman Tony Posada — will announce their colleges together during a joint news conference at the school. "I think that's going to be the plan," coach Bob Weiner told ESPN. "They've all pretty much seen everything they need to see."