In just 25 short days, the California football team will report to its first fall camp under new head coach Sonny Dykes. In addition to the four receivers signed as part of the 2013 recruiting class – early enrollee Drake Whitehurst, Caleb Coleman, Jack Austin and inside man Ray Hudson, the Bears will be adding one more to the mix: Hawaii transfer Trevor Davis.
Davis – a graduate of Martinez (Calif.) Alhambra – decided to return home to the Bay Area after spending two seasons as a starting wide receiver for the Rainbow Warriors, piling up 601 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 45 catches in 15 total games.
Davis was limited to eight games last season due to a sprained neck suffered against Fresno State, but has no lingering effects.
"It just seemed like the right fit," says Davis, who is now back in the Bay for the summer. "I was still a starter at the end of spring ball, going into my junior year at Hawaii, but it just didn't feel like the right fit. It wasn't the same offense I was in my freshman year. It just wasn't the right fit for me to succeed, so I decided to transfer."
In 2011, coach Greg McMackin – who recruited Davis – resigned as head coach after a 6-7 campaign, moving offensive coordinator Norm Chow into the driver's seat. With Chow's ascension, the offense underwent an overhaul.
"I got to start as a freshman, and that was really nice, but then it changed," Davis says. "I didn't think it was the right fit for me, even though I was doing really well. It wasn't anything about the coaches or anything like that. It just went from completely spread to more power run and things like that. It just wasn't a good fit for me there. I thought that I could go somewhere and get more exposure to help myself, more competition so that I could get myself to the next level."
Coming out of high school, Davis was recruited by WAC and Mountain West schools, in part due to his 2.8 GPA, and in part due to the fact that he had never heard of the concept of "media guide" height and weight.
"I actually put my actual size on my highlight films, and I was really small, really skinny," says Davis, who was listed at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds as a recruit. "I think Pac-12 schools shied away from me, because I didn't go with saying I'm 6-foot-5 and everything. I just said, ‘OK, I'm 160 pounds,' back then, so a lot of schools said I was too small."
Now 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Davis has run several 4.3-second 40s and regularly runs a 4.4, but that doesn't mean he wants to get even faster – something he'll set himself toward doing over the summer and during his year sitting out.
"Mainly, I want to get settled academically, get bigger and faster," says Davis. "Speed is really big for me. I think speed really helps you all around in football. If you're fast, they can't catch you. That's one thing that I like to work on all the time. Size just comes along with it."
Davis didn't come to his decision to transfer lightly. He wanted to make absolutely sure that switching schools would be the right choice.
"Going into spring ball this last spring, it was a thought in my head, but I wanted to give it a full spring. It was a really late transfer, but I wanted to finish it out and see where I was at, but after spring ball was over, I made my decision," says Davis. "I wanted to go to a school that was the best situation for me. The Bay Area thing, I loved to come here, but it really came down to what was the best situation for me. I was considering Wisconsin and also Texas State. Those were the schools that wanted me, but they didn't have a scholarship. When I weighed everything out, made a list, Cal came up on top."
Davis contacted the Bears staff – who he'd seen up-close during Hawaii's game against Louisiana Tech in 2011 – in late May, and by late June, he knew that he wanted to be a part of what Dykes and his staff were doing in Berkeley, after an unofficial visit to the campus.
"After they said they had interest in me, I was like, ‘Well, I'm close, so I can just stop by,'" says Davis. "Mainly, it was the offense," says Davis. "The back home thing, I tried to shy away from that, because I didn't want to make a decision just because I'd be back home. But, the offense, it's great. They're going to air it out. Coach Dykes has coached a lot of great receivers. Tony Franklin is a great coach. All of them, really. I love the coaches. The offense is going to be great. It was a really nice fit for me."
Aside from the offense, Davis was intrigued by Cal's academic profile.
"The academics, that has to be the first priority," Davis says. "Football isn't everything. To me, football is life, but at any moment, anything can happen, and you have to be ready for it. Having the year off, I'll have an extra year to work on my degree. That's another thing that's really good, because at Hawaii, I would have only had four years because I played my true freshman year. Now, I have five years to get my degree, and that's going to help out a lot."
Davis was majoring in sociology, but is considering other options at Berkeley.
"I'm going to look into it more and find out what I like, because I know there are a lot more options at Cal," Davis says. "I'm going to figure that out when I get there."
Davis says he will be on scholarship with the Bears when he enrolls for the fall semester.
Davis: The Right Fit
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