October 12, 2009

Linebacker commit makes decision for future

Zachary Davis knew he would have to make a lot of decisions as a senior in high school.

But Davis thought he had the toughest one out of the way, when the linebacker committed to Tulane a few months back.

Instead, he was forced to choose between his future and his present after shoulder and knee injuries became glaring issues in the first month of his final season at Collins Hill HS in Georgia.

After listening to feedback from parents, friends and former collegiate football players, Davis chose the future and made the difficult decision to end his high school career, electing to have surgery, rather than limp through the season.

"It was really hard because I wanted to be with those guys so bad," Davis said. "I tried to play through it but I realized the best thing to do was to get the surgery.

"Tulane was really supportive to me the whole time and they told me it was my decision, but I think having the surgery now sets me up for the best opportunity in the future, even though it's not what I really wanted now."

Prior to his injuries, Davis was getting heavy pursuit from a range of schools (including SEC programs) but stayed true to his commitment from early August. Now that he can't put on shoulder pads for a few months, he's happy to have a school already in his corner.

Davis recognized the payoff for his decision last weekend, when he made an unofficial visit to New Orleans to watch the Green Wave take on Marshall in the Superdome.

After visiting with players, coaches, and even some coaches' wives, Davis felt the family atmosphere which attracted him to Tulane all along.

"I liked it a lot," Davis said. "I could tell that everyone there really cared about each other and it felt like a family, so it was good just to be around it and experience that."

"I got to watch the guys warm up and everything and I saw them get rowdy so it was great. I know it was a loss, but I felt they were good enough to win, just made some mistakes at the wrong time."

While watching Tulane's defense work under Steve Stanard, he already pictured himself in a Green Wave uniform next fall. With no starting linebackers returning to the position next year, the competition should be wide open.

"We run a pretty similar scheme in high school and I think I fit in there pretty well," Davis said. "I can see myself being out there for Tulane."

But for now, Davis' concentration is on returning to full strength through rehab so he's prepared to compete when he gets to New Orleans .

"I'll be ready by the time next season gets going," Davis said. "I just want to play again."

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