- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
After producing Oregon signee Byron Marshall last year, Northern California is again home to the state's premier tailback, as schools across the country will compete for Justin Davis (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln).
Davis rushed for 2,599 yards and scored 39 touchdowns last season on his way to being one of just two juniors named to ESPNHS' California All-State Football first-team offense. Most impressively, Davis did much of his damage against the top teams on the schedule, rushing for 195 yards and two touchdowns against Arik Armstead and Elk Grove Pleasant Grove and 264 yards and four scores against Shaq Thompson and Sacramento Grant. He had two games of more than 300 yards on the ground, including a five-touchdown performance, and he finished the year with a 219-yard, three-touchdown game in a playoff loss to Granite Bay.
His career has seen a steady growth over the past few years, thanks in large part to a growth spurt heading into his freshman year. While Davis began playing football at a young age, he was moved to different positions largely due to a lack of size. He landed primarily at wide receiver, although he didn't see much playing time. But a growth spurt between eighth and ninth grade changed things. With his newfound stature, Davis went out as a tailback and carried the ball out of the backfield from Day 1 on the freshman team.