Player, or Owner?

Maybe it was meant to be. Even though he was as close as you could be to making a verbal commitment, Tyrone Davis didn't do it. And after Sunday, he has a possible explanation. After a visit with new Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, the defensive end from Olympia High found out something that proves how fate can work in strange ways.

Davis went to Seattle with his father and older brother to attend Washington's 68-64 basketball win over North Carolina State. But the basketball game was just an appetizer. His one-on-one conversation with Willingham was the main course.

"We found out that he grew up in North Carolina like my Dad did, only 50 miles away," Davis told after his visit. "He's a pretty cool guy. He's philosophical. At first from what I had heard, he's a pretty disciplined guy, but I think his discipline comes through motivation. If you're going to do it, do it to the fullest instead of doing it half-assed. It seems to me that he has a lot of self-motivation."

What was the meat of the conversation? "It was mainly what he's going to enforce upon his players," said Davis. "He wants them to not only be the best they can be on the field, but also off the field, like in business and other things. He used the example of how every college athlete wants to play in the NFL, and he said, would you rather be the guy getting paid in the NFL, or the one paying the players? He wants you to be so successful that you can own a team, rather than just playing on a team. So it was really cool listening to him talk about things from that standpoint."

For Davis, he did enough on the field this year for the Bears to merit offers from both UW and Oregon State, among others. He had 52 solo tackles, 44 assisted stops, 16 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as a defensive end for Olympia. His play earned him Narrows league defensive player of the year honors, as well as a place on the all-state first team and the Tacoma News Tribune's all-area team.

Tyrone made sure that the scholarship former UW Head Coach Keith Gilbertson had proffered was still available. "I talked to (defensive line coach) Randy Hart about it, and he told me that the offer still stands," said Davis. He will visit Washington the weekend of January 7th and said Sunday that he won't make a final decision until after his visit to Washington.

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