Thomasville's Davis commits to Appalachian State
Thomasville's Akeem Davis walked into the T. Brown Finch Gymnasium Tuesday morning at the school, coming directly from the practice field where his fellow Bulldogs are preparing for the season.
With his senior year set to begin next week, the talented linebacker wanted to take care of business off the field so it would not become a distraction for him and his teammates.
Taking a seat in front of the trophy case and a wall filled with photos of THS athletes that have gone on to college athletic careers, Davis had finally made his decision. After a busy summer of workouts and meetings and with 13 offers to choose from, Davis reached under the table and slid on a ball cap bearing the name of Appalachian State University.
“It is a relief,” said Davis. “The first time I went up there I fell in love with the campus, the coaches. My mom and dad, they really liked it.”
Davis was originally recruited by the Mountaineers as a defensive back, but once the linebacker's coach saw footage he felt like he was a college linebacker and wanted him. That was just fine with Davis, who prefers lining up just behind the defensive front.
While Davis entertained the idea of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference with an offer coming from Boston College, he liked all that Appalachian State had to offer. Staying in state was a huge draw for him as friends and family can make the trip to Boone on game day.
“That is very important,” he said. “That was big on me making my decision.”
An All-CCC selection as a sophomore and junior, Davis is the centerpiece of Thomasville's defense. New head coach Wes Mattera is counting on him to be a vocal leader on and off the field. He was impressed by how Davis handled himself during the entire recruitment process. Now that a decision has been made, Davis can put 100 percent of his attention on helping the Bulldogs improve on their 5-7 finish in 2013.
“Now he can focus on being the best leader he can be and the best player he can be for Thomasville,” Mattera said. “I could not be more proud of him. He has handled himself well throughout this whole process and has treated every coach with respect. We are just happy for him and want what is best for his future.
“I think Akeem realizes how important it is in taking the next step in our program. Our freshmen and sophomores need to see a guy go on to the next level, get out of Thomasville and make it. Regardless of how many downs Akeem ever plays, if he can go get a degree and come back and tell those guys about the trials and tribulations he has been through, that is only going to pay dividends.”
Appalachian State won three straight FCS national championships from 2005-07. Beginning this season, the Mountaineers are moving up to play at the FBS level and will compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.