Antwuan Davis grinned ear-to-ear as he accepted his invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in a ceremony at Bastrop High School.
"This is just an honor above all other," Davis said. "There's nothing like playing in the highest football game at the high school level, and I'm glad that I'm one of the 90 that gets to play."
Davis said he chose the U.S. Army game over other all-star opportunities because "this honors somebody."
"I'm not just playing for myself and my family," Davis said. "I'm playing for myself, my family and all these army men that go out and serve and put their lives on the line. And if it's up to me, I know I can do it for one night, just to make them enjoy what's going to go happen."
Of course, it doesn't hurt that several of his future Longhorn teammates will be in attendance either.
"Our relationships with each other are just extraordinary," Davis said. "There's nothing like it. The bonds are just going to keep getting stronger. We get to play in this game together, then we still get to go play at Texas. So it's going to be really fun."
Davis's ability to build and sustain relationships is one of the things that makes him a special person, on top of player, said Bastrop coach Gerald Perry.
"I've been fortunate enough in my 20 years to coach some great athletes," Perry said. "He's up there with some of those guys. I think I have five or six guys in the pros right now. But his character separates him from most of those kids. He's just a tremendous student athlete."
Perry mentioned Davis's volunteer efforts at the shelters when the Bastrop fires hit, his membership in FCA and the fact that twice this year, Davis gave up big gains to pitch to teammates before he was tackled, leading to scores.
"I wasn't really happy about that," Perry said. "But he cares about his teammates, and that really makes him a special player."
Davis quipped about joining FCA "I heard the word athlete in there, so I thought we were about to go run, so I was like, I'm down." He said the teacher told him "you have blessings upon blessings."
"That's why at the beginning of my speech, I liked to thank God, my lord and savior, because without him, nothing would be possible," Davis said.
Arguably Davis's biggest blessing is his pure athletic ability.
He missed a year, or half a season, of playing corner last year," Perry said. "He's got a lot of football ahead of him. He's a really strong kid. He benches 350 and runs a 4.38 and all of those things that you look for maybe by the time he's a junior in college, he's already there. It's just going to come down to technique and the mental part of it at that next level. Speed-wise, he's definitely ready to go."
It's that speed that drew Texas to Davis, and Davis said it was the way that speed would be coached on the 40 Acres that drew him to Texas.
"Coach [Duane] Akina, that man is just extraordinary," Davis said. "He's just a miracle worker, man. There's nothing else that could be better than going here. I'm really looking forward to it."
He's also looking forward to making an impact in the Army game before he hits campus.
"I'm going to do work at the Army All-American game," Davis said. "I hope my community comes and backs me up. I'm going to go do it."