With a pair of state championships under his belt and the opportunity for more still on the horizon before his senior year ends this summer, Tenaha's Reginald Davis solidified his future on Wednesday when, as expected, he signed his national letter of intent to play college football for Texas Tech University.
Davis verbally committed to the university in Lubbock last March and never wavered, taking an official visit out there just two weeks prior to signing his official intent.
"Even if I wouldn't have gotten an athletic scholarship I would have gotten an academic scholarship," said Davis, who is currently ranked No.4 in his class. "But this is getting to do something I like to do.
"The most important thing in all of this is getting a degree. If you get a degree you can do whatever you want to do, and getting it paid for by playing football is a great opportunity for me."
Despite is first love being basketball and leading the Tigers to the Class 1A D-II state finals a year ago and having a chance to claim the state's top team honor this year with all of the 2010-11 players returning, Davis wasn't offered a college basketball scholarship. But he was noticed for his ability on the gridiron, drawing offers from schools such as Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Baylor, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.
Davis, who won the Class 1A D-II 100-meter dash in 2011, took his senior year visit to Texas Tech two weeks ago and learned more about what is going to be expected of him and how he plans to begin preparing for play at the NCAA D-I level next fall.
"I was glad I made my decision early (about his decision to attend Texas Tech) because it took a lot of pressure off my back," Davis stated. "I was getting one call after another and I couldn't concentrate on my junior season.
"When I went to Tech for my visit, I went to academic meetings, met more coaches and sat in on team meetings and position meetings. They told me where I was going to play on the field. I also developed a great relationship with the guys on the team. I've got a relationship with the guys like we're brothers already."
Davis said despite playing quarterback for the Tigers in his junior and senior seasons, he'll be playing outside receiver for the Red Raiders. However, he added that the coaches indicated he'll play some 'wildcat' quarterback as well.
Davis was a wide receiver during his first two years of high school, before being switched to quarterback his junior and senior seasons.
As a sophomore, he was second on the Tenaha squad with 36 receptions for 848 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 23.6-yards per reception. He also rushed for 278 yards and six TDs, averaging 6.3-yards per carry. In addition, he was sixth on the team in tackles with 71. Davis helped the Tigers to a 12-1 record as the team advanced three rounds deep in the playoffs.
Davis spent most of his playing time during his junior season as the Tiger quarterback. He completed 40-of-85 passes (47.1%) for 681 yards and five touchdowns. He was also the top ground gainer on the Tiger squad, picking up 1,346 yards and 30 touchdowns. He averaged 8.1-yards per play and 122.4-yards per contest. He also caught 10 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown, while tallying 47 tackles.
Davis saved the best for last during the 2011 season, leading Tenaha to the Class 1A D-II state championship and a spotless 15-0 record. He completed 101-of-169 (59.8%) passes for 2,015 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
The state championship game Most Valuable Offensive Player rushed for 1,915 yards and scored 35 touchdowns during the season. He also produced 32 tackles defensively.
Davis said at this point he is unsure what his major will be, but says it will be something associated with sports.
On the football field, Davis feels that he can use his knowledge he has gained at the quarterback position when he moves back to receiver.
"I think being a quarterback, I had to learn a lot more about (defensive) coverages and so when I'm playing receiver I'll be able to recognize things in coverage and I'll anticipate changes easier.
"I'm also looking forward to playing the 'wildcat' quarterback position as well."
Davis' training to get ready for his freshman season as Texas Tech will begin this spring as he competes in basketball and then track at Tenaha. He said in addition to already having 12 credit hours completed this spring at Tenaha, he'll be receiving information on workouts he will be going through this Spring and then head to Lubbock on June 4 to not only begin summer school to get ahead on some of his class hours, but so he can train during the summer with other Red Raiders to get ready for the upcoming football season.
Tenaha Athletic Director and head football coach Terry Ward said that Davis knows the importance of his academic future at Texas Tech and feels he will be able to handle the move from a small Class 1A school to play football and attend a major college.
"Like any kid, it's going to take some time for Reginald to get acclimated to the change from a small high school to a large university," Ward stated. "But I really think Texas Tech is going to do everything they can to help him to become successful.
"I think Reginald's opportunity means a lot to not only the Tenaha community, but to other athletes at the school as well. It shows them there's a reward for all the hard work and determination. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Kids that pay the price and work hard, not only on the football field, but in the classroom as well, have the possibility of getting a college education paid for and playing on TV and there are so many kids that don't have that opportunity.
"Kids that have the opportunity to play at a Big XII school are even more rare. It's a big deal and that's why we invited some of the other kids to see (Davis sign his letter of intent) and see they have a chance like this."
Ward said Davis will face challenges at Texas Tech. He said he must remember where he came from and realize that he won't have the same legacy at Tech that he's had at Tenaha. He must 'earn his stripes' and build his own legacy at the collegiate level.
He added that if he can survive the rigors of college academic and social life and keep his eye on the 'big picture' of what he's trying to accomplish - obtaining a college degree - then he can overcome the obstacles and accomplish his goals.
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