Coach Travis Hill is the head coach at East Central High School in Tulsa, (Okla.), and he tells about the impact Davis had on their program.
"In all honesty, my favorite thing about coaching Anthony Davis is the type of human being he is," Hill said. "He is a great kid. Anthony did not play as a freshman here at East Central High School."
"I found him on the basketball court, and asked him, "Why?" He said he had some experiences when he was young. He wasn't playing in the right position. I said, "Well hey, why don't you come out for us. If things work out, they work out. If they don't, they don't."
"Then as a sophomore he comes out, and obviously I didn't ask him because I knew I had something special. We put him at cornerback. He's an All-State player the last two years and getting ready to go to a Division-1 school to play college football. I think that's kind of a good story."
We talked coach Hill about players like Davis and the frequency with which they may get lost in youth programs with inexperienced coaches. How do you find those gems once they have been put off by a bad experience.
"I have a young man that is 12 years old, and I think that often times especially in the state of Oklahoma, Texas, places like that, where they put a high emphasis on football kids do get lost in the shuffle at a young age for a variety of reasons," Hill explained.
"I think it's kind of frustrating especially when you get in large settings. We're not a huge setting here at East Central High School, but we are a 5A school with a population of about 1,200. If you get over into your other suburban schools where you have 3,000 kids that go there, I guarantee you that you lose a ton of kids due to a variety or reasons."
"Thank goodness we were able to find this one and resurrect him. He's been nothing but a joy to coach, and definitely a great leader. It is not done by talk. It is done by actions."
Hill continued to talk of his secondary star's speed.
"Realistically, he is better than a 4.5 guy," he stated. "We've had him here in legitimate 4.4 more than once."
Davis is 6-0 and weighs 190-pounds The young cornerback will compete in track and field events this spring. He will run the 4 x 100m, the 200m, and he will participate in the long jump.
"The long jump," Hill answered when asked of the track star's speciality. "He's pretty special in that."
Hill shared his opinion of why Davis chose Kansas as his college choice.
"He went through some qualifying problems," he said. "I think whenever Bill Young came in and stuck with him through the process, and never backed off, that was probably the thing that overcame it."
"He did have some people come in here on him late. He didn't even think twice about it. First of all, we talked about the importance of what a commitment means. Number two, he felt real strong the same way that he had committed to the University of Kansas, they had committed to him. I think that is definitely what swayed him and made him very upbeat about the University of Kansas."
A common theme covering recruiting for the Jayhawks in Oklahoma has been defensive coordinator Bill Young. The Oklahoma State alum left a great impression on both athlete and coach.
"I think he did a great job," Hill said. "We've known Bill for a long time. Of course, Bill has several Oklahoma ties as does Mark Mangino."
Mangino was an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the University of Oklahoma during the rebuilding years in Norman with Bob Stoops.
"Bill (Young) is very professional, and I think Anthony liked the idea of the way coach Young came in and handled everything up front," Hill explained. "He was honest with him at every avenue and stuck to his guns. I think that was the thing that made Anthony very secure with his choice in the University of Kansas."
"Anthony's two years on the team, we went 25-2 with a state championship last year and a semi-final appearance this year. We had a 24-game winning streak, and he's a large part of that. He did a good job for us."