• 61°

Friday Night Hero: South Rowan’s John Davis

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó If feistiness could be quantified, South Rowan linebacker John Davis would stand 7-foot-5, weigh 500 pounds and run the 40 in about 3.9 seconds.
The perception is that Davis is too small and too slow to be a frontline linebacker, but he’s spent his senior season scratching, clawing and changing minds.
He changed a few more last weekend as South manhandled West Iredell 35-6 to improve to 6-2.
“West Iredell’s got fast kids,” South coach Jason Rollins said. “They ran down three of our fastest ó D’Andre Harris, Thomas Lowe, Quan Glaspy ó from behind, so they’ve got really fast kids. But we were able to keep that speed contained. John and the other linebackers did a great job.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound Davis made a pivotal play, reacting quickly and drilling a back on a swing pass. The ball came loose, and South’s Donte Henderson scooped the bouncing pigskin before returning it for a touchdown.
“West Iredell’s got guys that would make me look stupid in a footrace,” Davis said. “But I saw that pass was coming in high, and I knew that was going to be a kill shot right there.”
Davis, who made two fumble recoveries against Central Cabarrus, also had one Saturday after middle linebacker Cadarreus Mason forced a fumble.
“Cadarreus is always popping them loose,” Davis said. “Fortunately, they keep jumping into my hands.”
Davis is one of three seniors rotating at the two outside linebacker positions flanking Mason. Davis’ comrades-in-arms are Jacob Baker and Jacob Nance.
Nance (5-11, 195) is a strapping guy, while Baker (5-8, 160) is really undersized. He makes Davis look like Brian Urlacher.
The unusual thing about Davis’ emergence is he didn’t play football in 2008.
He did play on the varsity some as a sophomore, but as a junior, he concentrated his energy on basketball. His father, a much bigger John Davis, is a football assistant and the head basketball coach.
“Little John made a mistake and regretted it,” Rollins said. “He didn’t do anything football-wise this summer, but then right before August he called me and said he’d made up his mind to play. I asked him if he was sure, and he said he was. I told him it would be great to have him back, but he had a lot of work to do.”
Davis says it was a tough decision not made overnight.
“There was a time I wanted to just stick with basketball, but Dad wanted me to play and Mom really wanted me to play this year,” Davis said. “A big part of it was I came out to play for them.”
Davis plays football a lot like he plays basketball, a sport in which he makes frequent contact and creates whistles. He’s usually drawing charges or taking trips to the free-throw line.
In football, he plays with attitude. If he’s on your side, you’ll call it passion. If he’s not on your team, you won’t like him very much, but he understands that.
He does what he has to do to survive.
“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “When the team is winning and you’re doing your part, it’s a whole lot of fun.”
And as far as the speed stuff, he claims his wheels are better than advertised.
Just ask his older brother, Derek, a 6-4, 230-pound UNC Pembroke linebacker.
“Dad had my brother race me down the street and said he would beat me,” Davis said. “After five steps, I was way ahead, looking back, thinking about backing in.”
Little John Davis. Always feisty. Still proving people wrong.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic