It doesn’t matter if you play for Division III Buckeye Valley or defending D-I state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier. If you’re good, you’re good … and people are going to notice.
Take BV senior running back Trent Davies for example. He’s good and, well, people are noticing.
Not just any people, either … the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl selection committee. After solid showings in a handful of combines, Davies recently learned he’s earned a spot on the Blue squad. The game will be played at EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018 at 1 p.m. It’ll air live on ESPN3.
“I’m excited, but more honored to represent my family and Buckeye Valley,” Davies said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the type of athletes I’m grouped in with. I’ve already made some friendships and am a fan of some of the guys I went through the process with, so I’m also looking forward to following them, not just this year, but through college.”
Davies earned the selection by outshining a pool of nearly 7,000 players from around the country. He said he knew next to nothing about the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl when he received an invite to one of its regional combines back in May.
“My dad explained to me it was a selection combine like the NFL combine, meaning I would be tested on my 40-yard dash, broad jump, shuttle run, vertical and how many times I could bench press 185 pounds. I’ve literally trained for those types of tests since middle school.”
That training showed in the final numbers. Of the 311 players who were invited to the Cincinnati combine, Davies finished first in the 40 (4.45 seconds), second in the broad jump (9-10) and second in the bench press (22 reps at 185).
“Those scores got me invited to the Blue-Grey super combine held at the NFL Hall of Fame training facility,” Davies said. “There was a much more select group of 60 players from 22 states. We tested the same things and participated in a bunch of one-on-one drills. I placed in the top five in the same three categories: third in the 40, third in the bench press and first in the broad jump.”
The scores from the combines, coupled with his high school highlight tape, landed Davies a spot in the showcase.
Davies was unstoppable at times last season, his first at BV. He rushed 145 times for 880 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games. He also had 27 receptions for 209 yards and three TDs. The 17 overall touchdowns accounted for 102 points — almost double the amount of anyone else on the team. Chris Santillan was second from a scoring standpoint, finishing with nine touchdowns for 56 points.
Buckeye Valley coach Matt Stephens said it’s no accident, either.
“Trent has been one of the most dedicated players I’ve coached,” he said. “Football is year round for Trent and his hard work and commitment is paying off.”
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.