Brandon Davis showed why he will be one of the highest recruited running backs in the class of 2008, helping lead a very talented team to a co-state championship.
Seeing his carries nearly double, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Davis ran for 228 yards in the playoff opener. He rushed for over 100 yards in the next three games before Roswell was able to keep him under the century mark in the 5-A title game, ending in a 14-14 tie. Davis was still a factor in converting key third downs, and being the decoy leaping over the pile on a crucial two-point conversion.
That productivity came while playing with a hip flexor and a banged-up knee.
"I knew it was my time to put the team on my back and carry them," said Davis, who is receiving a lot of interest from major college programs including Notre Dame. "I knew I had to step up and do what was necessary for the team to be successful, get to the state championship game and get rings this year.
"In the playoffs, I averaged 28-29 carries per game," he continued. "That is a confidence boost that I can get into my rhythm getting touches like that. It won't be a new thing carrying the load next season, and I look forward to another challenge."
One thing is for sure, Davis will be sharing or carrying the load at a major college program in the future. Virginia Tech has already offered a scholarship.
"Mail comes from Connecticut, Notre Dame, they're sending a lot, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Alabama, and the list goes on and on," Davis said.
At the area Nike Camp, Davis said he ran a 4.55 laser 40-yard dash. At a combine at Georgia Tech, he said he clocked a 4.46. He also reports that he can bench press 330 pounds and squat 405 pounds.
That athleticism showed up on the field to the tune of 1,198 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns this past season.
"He is very durable, can run it 25-30 times a game," Armstrong said. "He is a tough physical runner. A good student (3.4 GPA). A down-hill player and punishing runner. A north-south runner, but he has little moves in there and he can make you miss. He reminds me a lot of Darius Walker, but a little bit quicker."
Walker, the former Irish tailback and the state of Georgia's all-time leading rusher, is from nearby Buford. Davis remembers watching him on television playing in state championship games, and followed him during his career at Notre Dame.
Davis's interest in Notre Dame begins with Walker, but it doesn't end there.
"I do know that they play as an independent and they can play pretty much who they want," Davis said. "They have a lot of home games and the school is Catholic. I know Charlie Weis is the head coach that came from the New England Patriots, and was successful there. It's a prestigious school and it's a privilege to get mail from them. They produce strong leadership, not just in their football players, but people in general. It seems like they have a good coaching staff."
"I'm trying to get up there, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to. I'm trying to work the details out, but its still in the process. I was invited to some games this season."
Davis's early favorites in no particular order are Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Florida, Wake Forest, Georgia and LSU.
The past two seasons, Davis has had the pleasure of playing with a few other Division-I prospects including his older brother Phillip. A safety, the elder Davis has yet to make a final college decision, but is a soft commit to Navy. The team's quarterback Zach Graham is headed to Ole Miss to play basketball. Receiver Sidney Haynes has a lot of good offers including South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Louisville. But the guy bringing the big-time programs into the building so they can also take a peak at Davis is defensive tackle Cameron Heyward. He has yet to decide but will choose between Florida, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.
Everybody that has come by to see Cameron is interested in Brandon," Armstrong said. "(Ohio State head coach ) Jim Tressel was here last week. (Head Coach Ted) Roof from Duke was here."
"My brother Phillip is an amazing player," Davis said. "I loved playing with him. Cameron Heyward, what more could be said about him. He is a beast. He did a lot for the team.
"I've been fortunate enough to be playing on a team with a good amount of D-I prospects, and I seized the opportunity and just performed."
Some lucky college is hoping Davis will eventually perform for them.