Last weekend Alonzo Davis made a trip out of the heart of the rough and tumble streets of Los Angeles to the quiet and more peaceful environment of Provo, Utah. He came to take an unofficial trip to BYU, where he enjoyed his time being on campus.
“It was really nice there,” said Davis. “The campus was nice, the people were nice, and the atmosphere was just great. It was a really nice environment out there and I loved it. It just seems like a great place to be with the football and caliber of academics they have there. There’s a big difference being out there than back home in Watts.”
Many know of the movie “Boyz n the Hood” and the NWA biopic “Straight Outta Compton”. This is the world Davis is all too familiar with, so being out in Utah for the first time was a real eye-opener for him.
“Utah is a lot different than be back in California,” Davis said. “Everyone is so friendly out there. Cali, I don’t know man. I’m from Watts but I go to school out here in Cerritos at Richard Gahr High School. It’s a lot different and everyone out here isn’t as friendly as they are in Utah at BYU. Everyone is way friendly out there.”
While on BYU’s campus, Davis was given the royal blue treatment. He was shown all the outstanding facilities and knickknacks catered towards the football players on the team, while having an opportunity to get to know the outstanding coaching staff at BYU.
“We got to see the locker rooms, saw the field, and we all just walked around,” Davis said. “We saw the film room and all the facilities. It was nice, really nice. We got to spend time and talk with the coaches and had lunch with them. It was really good and a lot of fun. It was cool.”
He really enjoyed trying on all the BYU gear and taking pictures.
“Getting to try on all the gear and stuff and seeing myself in it was a highlight for me,” said Davis. “I really enjoyed that. Seeing the film room and all the TV stuff they got going on over there. That was really nice. I really enjoyed that.”
During his visit to BYU, Davis would be called to speak one-on-one with Kalani Sitake. There he would learn more about BYU’s uniqueness.
“We met and we talked. I liked how Coach Sitake talked more about the business side of the school and that it’s not just about football,” Davis said. “He talked about other things that were important and how BYU makes you better in life not just in football. He really questioned me into thinking there isn’t a better school out there because it just isn’t just about football.”
What would follow would be the capstone of an already incredible visit.
“I didn’t know what to think,” said Davis said with a laugh still giddy over what had happened. “Coach Sitake gave me an offer. When I got that offer from Coach Sitake, I was just so happy.”
Davis received a surprise scholarship offer that nearly caused him to leap out of his seat and bust out in his favorite dance moves. However in Coach Sitake’s office, he somehow managed to keep his composure.
“I was so happy because I never thought that I would ever get a scholarship being out here at a small school,” he said. “I never thought that would ever happen to me. Then when I got that offer I was just trying to hold it down and maintain myself. In my heart I was like, ‘We did it! We did it!’ Man, I was just so happy.”
Excited and overwhelmed, Davis called home to talk to the one he owes everything to. That is his mother, Gertrude Davis.
“Yeah, I called my mom and she was crying,” Davis said. “It was really emotional for her. She was so happy and it made me feel good. I feel like I’m more accomplished now. I had been working so hard and now I got my first offer. I was just overwhelmed. I owe a lot to my parents.
“No one was really looking at me. Arizona was sending me papers and stuff like that, but they hadn’t really been on me really hard. BYU is pretty much the only one.”
The University of Utah entered the picture after Davis visited Utah following his unofficial visit to BYU. They quickly jumped into the game and offered Davis after he had been offered by the Cougars. For Davis, receiving that first offer from BYU was like Christmas in April.
“Oh yeah, it was like Christmas came early,” he said with a laugh. “It was like a big monkey off my back getting that offer from BYU. It was great and I really liked it.”
The college football coach that first evaluated Davis in all areas and found him worthy of a BYU scholarship was BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford. Davis is very grateful for Coach Gilford taking notice in him when others didn’t.
“BYU’s cornerback coach is recruiting me, Coach Gilford,” said Davis. “He’s a great coach and he really brought BYU out making sure that we see it the way we should see it in a positive light. He really made the school talk to us. I’m grateful for him and what he’s done for me.”
Although Provo, Utah is a much different place than Watts, Davis can see himself suiting up in blue and white and possibly one day playing at BYU. It’s an option he now has on the table.
“Yeah, I could myself playing for a school like BYU,” Davis said. “This is really good out there. It’s not just about football but about becoming a man in life. It’s also a place that focus you to look at what’s most important in life. It would be good to go to a school like this because it helps you to be successful in all areas of life and not just football, football, football. I could see myself going to a school like this to be successful is all aspects of my life. There’s a different kind of focus there and it’s a good focus.
“I don’t have really any off-field issues. I’m coachable and don’t get in trouble off the field. I stay away from that and just try to do all the right things. BYU is a good thing because it makes you focus on what’s important and not get caught up in all that other staff that distracts you from your goals. I’m just grateful BYU offered me a scholarship and now I have the chance to play college football. This has been a great experience for me and I’m really grateful.”