Chris Davenport, Scout.com’s 2nd ranked defensive tackle in the land, suffered a slight tear to his meniscus when he attended LSU’s camp in July. The bad news was the injury but there was some good news to come out of that camp as he gave Les Miles his verbal pledge.
A little less than two weeks after injuring himself, Davenport had surgery on August 5 to repair the injury and although rehab has been a little more than he initially expected, reports are looking good on the injury front.
“It’s going great,” Davenport said. “They say I should be back playing in a few weeks or so. Hopefully, I’ll try and take it slow by start off playing a little then work my way up from there to a full game.”
Mansfield has lost its first three games of the season and the loss of Davenport has been too much to overcome. The Tigers have been outscored 144-46 in three contests and are not expected to make the playoffs.
With that in mind, has there been any thought given to sitting out the year to give the knee some more time to heal?
“I have thought about it but I came to the conclusion that if I sit out a whole year then I won’t be the same player I was the year before,” Davenport said. “I want to get some reps in before I go to the college level.”
The big 6-4, 300-pounder said that it has been tough to sit back and watch his team go to battle, but what’s been even tougher to deal with is some of the unfair criticism he has received.
“It’s been real tough because a lot of people in the community, not my LSU fans, but a lot of other people have been going around saying that I let my team down by having surgery,” said Davenport. “I’m like how did I let my team down by having surgery? If I didn’t have the surgery then I still wouldn’t be able to play high school football or go to college and play.
“It’s just been a battle with the community,” he added. “I guess they don’t feel I’m injured because they see me standing on the sideline on Friday night. But, once you hurt your knee it takes a long process to heal and recover from it. Without my knees I won’t be able to do anything and hopefully my knees are my money. Those are what are going to allow me to play college ball and get an education, and then hopefully get to the NFL. I have to look at my future and look down the road while everybody else is looking at now and not out for my future.”
The road that Davenport has chosen will take him from the small community up in North Louisiana all the way down to Baton Rouge. Though he committed nearly three months ago, choosing the Tigers over the likes of USC, Oklahoma, Florida State, Notre Dame and many others, he is still as excited as ever about being a Tiger.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “Me and my family, and the people that have had my back are real excited. The ones that don’t can say whatever they want but I’m just ready for June 7 so I can move into my dorm and get ready to play for the Tigers.”
Playing for the Tigers will have to wait until Davenport graduates in May so in the meantime he has been watching his future teammates play.
This past weekend he was sitting in the living room watching LSU play Auburn but like many others he was not sitting at ease.
“This last game really had me on the edge of my seat,” said Davenport. “At one time some felt that they had given up but they came and fought through and won, and I was glad of that.”