Central’s Davis making most of return to football

Central's Bryan Davis bulls his way through a group of Clarke County tacklers on Oct. 6. Davis has been a real key on both sides of the ball to Central's 11-0 season. Rich Cooley/Daily file

WOODSTOCK — Bryan Davis wasn’t on the football field last year, but he learned a valuable lesson.

The Central senior fullback/linebacker had to sit out the season due to ineligibility because of grades. He said it was difficult to watch his teammates play and not be out there with them.

“It was bad, because I love football,” Davis said. “And knowing that I could have been on the field junior year helping them out, maybe we could have gone further than the second round.”

Davis said he learned a lot from the experience and he worked hard to get his grades up and become eligible. He was able to play part of basketball season last year and also was on Central’s track team in the spring.

Central coach Mike Yew said that he’s seen a real difference in Davis this season.

“I’ve seen him be more mature just as a person this entire season,” Yew said. “When it comes to dealing with coaches, having conversations with people, seeing him in the hallway. He’s a whole lot more mature there.

“I think it’s a real good success story for him to be able to play sports his entire senior year, and be able to graduate and go out with a bang.”

Davis has helped lead Central to an 11-0 record. The Falcons host Robert E. Lee on Friday in the Region 2B semifinals.

Davis said he began playing football as an eighth grader after teammate Varsey Bright urged him to give football a try.

As a freshman, Davis started at tight end and linebacker for Central’s varsity team.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Davis said. “It was tough, don’t get me wrong. I was used to it my (junior varsity) year, but JV and varsity is two different types of speed. Varsity is definitely tougher, faster and bigger.”

Davis enjoyed success on both sides of the ball his freshman and sophomore seasons.

This season Davis is playing a new position on offense — fullback. Davis said he enjoyed playing at tight end, but he’s grown to enjoy playing at fullback as well.

“Don’t get me wrong I love going on routes, getting the ball scoring touchdowns, but I like playing fullback too,” Davis said. “I like blocking for the running backs, because we’re a very, very heavy running team. So knowing that you can get a key block when a running back is scoring a touchdown is pretty amazing.”

The 6-foot, 247-pound Davis has several rushing touchdowns this year. He has also caught six passes for 109 yards and has three receiving touchdowns.

Yew said Davis brings a real physicality and toughness to the fullback position.

“His biggest thing at fullback is when he hits you, he hits you,” Yew said. “…He brings a load when he hits you at fullback. Either the linebacker or the defensive end, whatever play we’re running or a sweep, the first guy he has to hit they need to be ready because he brings a big load when he hits.”

Yew said Davis also does a great job of reading his keys at linebacker and making plays. Davis has 62 tackles this season for the Falcons and three sacks.

Davis said the Falcons knew early on that they had a chance to have a special season, and they’ve been able to stay focused throughout the year.

“We went to camp over the summer and we knew we were going to be good,” Davis said. “But it’s just we couldn’t let it get over our heads. And we just had to go out there week-by-week and handle our business.”

Davis said he just wants to help the team go as far as they can. Davis said he believes the team can go as far as they want to.

“We know our potential,” Davis said. “We know we can go far. It’s just if we’re willing to put in the work to make it go that far, which we have been. So I think we’ll be fine.”