For many players, junior college football serves as a pit-stop on the way to a Division 1 program. For Madison Ridgeland Academy's Hayden Davis, his commitment to Co-Lin is all that and then some.
Davis has overcome yet another devastating injury that nearly ended his football career for good.
"I knew as soon as it happened," said Davis. "I was screaming, hollering. I wasn’t paying much attention to that I was done."
Davis has had five sports-related surgeries in his four high school seasons. Most recently, an ankle injury that sidelined him for his entire senior season.
"It was a bad feeling knowing that I had done it again," Davis added. "Especially as hard as I had worked to get my knee back right.
Coming to MRA as a sophomore, meant Davis play for his father, Coach Herbert Davis. But over those three years, Hayden was healthy for just 13 games, missing the team’s last two state championship appearances.
"What’s really disappointing is we were really starting to come together as son and dad and as coach and player," said Davis.
"It’s been really tough, it’s been really tough," said Hayden's father. "When it happened again, it basically just tore the hearts out of our family.
The injuries left Davis’s role somewhere between player and coach. He would spend each game in one of two spots in the stadium: on the sideline or up in the pressbox, watching the game unfold from a different angle.
"Everytime when I got hurt throughout the years, that’s when I got on the headset and just helped him out and helping the other quarterback out," explained Davis.
"He loves the game, so it’s been a lot of ‘hey dad, I’ve been looking at this on the Internet' or 'hey dad I’ve been looking at this on Hudl’," explained Coach Davis. "And I think that’s really matured him to be a great mind of the game."
Davis now takes that football mind, and hopefully a clean bill of health, with him to Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Where he will get his chance to defy the odds once more and prove he can play at the D-1 level.
That’s the goal of course," said Davis. "And that’s why I’m going JUCO to hopefully get more Division-1 offers, but I think I’ll be a big playmaker once I get back healthy."
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