Chandler Davis off and running
In most football programs, the presence of Chandler Davis at quarterback would dictate a spread-type offense with plenty of passing. Heading into his freshman season at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., Davis was already attracting national attention for his throwing exploits.
At Granada, however, the Matadors run the Wing-T offense, and running the football is the play-call of choice. Rather than doubt his ability to shift from a passing quarterback to more of a runner, Davis adapted nicely.
“I played in the spread offense my entire junior football career, basically, so it was new for me this season,” Davis said. “I took I’d say 95 percent of the snaps under center. In junior football, I’d take maybe 50 percent of the snaps out of the gun. It was very different and it was hard to get used to, so I think I grew in that aspect as the season went along.”
Davis did throw for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns while leading the Granada freshman team to an 8-2 record and the East Bay Athletic League championship. “I thought we definitely could have gone undefeated,” Davis said while noting the Matadors lost two games by a combined 12 points. “We didn’t pass a lot, but other than that, I was very happy with our season and finishing as EBAL champions.”
While he’s usually played in systems that have taken advantage of his passing ability, Davis showed he can be just as dangerous running the ball this season, piling up 600 yards on the ground and scoring 7 TDS. The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder was one of the fastest players on the team with a 4.9 time in the 40-yard dash.
“I definitely ran way more than I was used to,” Davis said. “We ran a lot of Bobcat sets with me still at quarterback or the running back position on the Wildcat. I ran a lot more than I was used to instead of dropping back straight. A lot of them were rollout passes where I chose to run instead of passing. So I definitely ran more. In the Wing-T, there was definitely a lot more running than I was used to and I was under center a lot more than what I’m used to. But I feel I mentally grew over the season and I grew a lot over the season with the new high school speed. It was a big leap from junior football.”
With his freshman season in the books, Davis is already preparing for his varsity career at Granada. Next year, his goal is starting at QB for the Matadors. “That’s definitely the goal, and I think it’s very attainable,” Davis said. “I will just continue to work with my receivers, do a lot of weightlifting, and work with Coach Will (Hewlett) and NFA, of course. Just put my head down and work.”
Davis has been attending NFA camps for the past three years, and he feels fortunate to live close to Hewlett, who is NFA’s Director of Player Development. Hewlett has already coached and trained more than 50 quarterbacks who have gone on to play Division 1 college football.
“Coach Will really helps me with my throwing mechanics … he’s probably the best coach out there for that,” Davis said. “Will is great at communicating some of the toughest ideas to anybody. He can almost see my situation from a different perspective and help me adjust. He helps me with reading coverages, dealing with the coaching staff, my eating, my weight lifting, he helps me in almost every aspect of the game.”