As we get closer to National Signing Day in February, I will have more news regarding football players from Columbia County who will be signing scholarships or walking on at some college programs.
Here is some early news on a former player in the county.
It appears former Harlem lineman Barry Davis Jr. has made a decision regarding which four-year school he will attend. Coming out of high school a couple of years ago, Davis signed with Georgia Military in Milledgeville.
You might recall Davis' recruitment was quite interesting. He and his dad had the idea that rather than making a highlight tape, they would make a YouTube video. Basically, the video consisted of Davis displaying offensive line techniques, his long snapping capabilities and his ability to burst off the line.
During his recruitment, Davis met GMC coach Bert Williams, who asked for tape on the former Bulldog. Davis and his dad informed the coach he could simply pull up his video on YouTube.com, which he did. Williams offered Davis a scholarship on the spot.
During his time at GMC, Davis worked hard to improve his long snapping, so much so that prior to the start of the season he was one of just two junior college long snappers in the country to earn a mention on the popular recruiting Web site www.scout.com.
In less than two years, he had gone from a player who got little interest from recruiters coming out of high school, to a rather hot commodity coming out of the junior college ranks. Davis garnered interest from teams as large as Louisiana State, but decided to play in the Southern Conference for the Georgia Southern Eagles.
Davis will join several local players who suit up for Georgia Southern, including former Augusta Christian standout William Banks and Greenbrier tailback Kendrick Wilson, both of whom were walk-ons for the Eagles. Former county player of the year Lee Banks (Augusta Christian) finished his eligibility this season at Georgia Southern.
When Georgia Southern takes on conference foe The Citadel next season, Davis will see several familiar faces on the opposite sideline. Two of his former Harlem teammates, Seth Hill (running back) and Marvon Danzie (defensive end), both of whom finished their prep career at Grovetown, play for the Bulldogs.
In addition to Hill and Danzie, former Evans standout Brandon McCladdie plays for The Citadel. As a redshirt freshman this season, McCladdie was second on the team with two interceptions. He also had 17 tackles, a forced fumble and three pass breakups.
Davis' story is a great example of what I have been telling people for years. You have to market yourself in recruiting. Obviously, if you have offers from SEC and ACC schools it is a little different.
However, for those players who are garnering interest from smaller schools only, you need to become a salesman and sell yourself to coaches. That might mean putting together a highlight tape, making phone calls or creating a YouTube video. It could be the difference in playing ball on the college level or always wondering what could have been.
All you high school players with talent, good grades, a good attitude and who are willing to work hard, let Barry Davis Jr. be an example for you.
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