One-Time Northwestern Commit Excited to Play

BERKELEY -- Once committed to Northwestern, Ray Davison is set to start at linebacker against the Wildcats in California's blue and gold.

BERKELEY -- Ray Davison was, once upon a time, a commit to Northwestern. The last time he was in Evanston, Ill., was, in fact, when he was on his official visit. On Saturday, there’s a significant chance that he’ll be starting at outside linebacker against Pat Fitzgerald and his Wildcats, as a California Golden Bear.

“It’s going to be exciting,” says the linebacker affectionately known as Uncle Ray. “It’ll be my first opportunity to put on a Cal jersey in front of thousands of people. It’s going to be like a regular game to me. There’s no such thing as a big game. Each week is a new game, but it’s exciting.”

Fitzgerald’s policy has long been that, once a player is committed to the Wildcats, any official visit to any other school is grounds for that player’s offer to be pulled.

From November of 2012 to January of 2013, Davison was set to major in accounting at Northwestern, but then, news of his offer from the Bears broke.

“At first, I was kind of upset, because when Cal offered me, I didn’t tell anybody, and it just kind of blew up, so I was like, ‘Why are you saying that?’” Davison says. “At the end of the day, I made my decision to come here.”

Davison was playing basketball at the time he was offered, and when he picked up his phone, he had texts from nearly the entire Northwestern staff.

“My phone was just blowing up,” Davison says. “He was like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ They were like, ‘Why are you talking to them?’ I had texts and calls.”

The message? Davison had better not visit, or else. That was before he’d even thought about taking a visit. Those calls and texts, though, helped to change his mind.

“When I committed, they told me, ‘Once you commit, this is what it means: You’re pro-Northwestern; you don’t want to go anywhere else,’” Davison says.

Davison, of course, had no control over the offer, but the Wildcats coaching staff was still aggressive in their preemptive strike, which helped push Davison ever so slightly towards the decision to take an official visit.

“It definitely put things into perspective,” Davison says. “Me and my father had a long talk about what [Fitzgerald] said to me, and what it meant. I wouldn’t say it nudged me, but it definitely put things into perspective.”

Davison decided to visit Berkeley on an official visit, and immediately, Northwestern pulled his offer.

“I decided with my family,” Davison says. “I weighed out the pros and cons, about what was best for me. I thought about the pros of Northwestern, I thought about the pros of Cal. I thought about the cons of Northwestern, and I thought about the cons of Cal. When we sat down, with my family, we made the decision to come here. The pros for Cal, it was a long list.”

After watching last season’s opener from the sidelines, Davison, after his second fall camp with the Bears, is now poised to start on Saturday at SAM linebacker, after coming in as a defensive end.

“It’s exciting, definitely,” Davison says. “It’s humbling. I’m just ready. I would definitely say that I put a lot of work in, up to this point, and I’m just going to continue that. I’m ready. I’m excited to play with my teammates. I’ve got a great group of guys. I’ve got [Brennan] Scarlett and people like that, so I know the blockers aren’t going to be getting to me, so I’m just going to be free fitting.”


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