CDS' Davis on pace for Hillsborough County rushing title

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Fri. March 23, 2012 | Joey Knight | Email

CDS' Davis on pace for Hillsborough County rushing title

In roughly six weeks, Carrollwood Day junior Robert Davis, an International Baccalaureate student who receives homework and handoffs in bulk, takes the SAT for the first time.

But from a pure ball-carrying perspective, he takes a stab at the ACT — All-time County Title — this fall.

A sturdily-built dynamo (5-foot-8 1/2, 165 pounds) rooted in a small-school classification, Davis needs 1,966 yards in his final season to become Hillsborough County's career rushing leader. He would supplant Riverview's Avious Steadman (5,320 yards from 1998-01).

"Me and my dad were talking about that a few weeks ago," Davis said between sets of 225-pound bench presses in the Patriots' weight room Thursday. "That would be a great accomplishment for me, especially coming from Carrollwood, how this would make our school look a lot better, make kids really want to come here."

In only two seasons, Davis has amassed 3,355 yards on 262 carries — a staggering 12.8 yards per attempt. Last season, he gained 1,832 on 138 handoffs despite nagging rotator-cuff problems.

Barring something unforeseen, his final prep season projects to be just as prosperous. All except one of his offensive linemen return, and the Patriots remain in the offense-friendly Class 2A, District 5, where the scores often reached Arena League totals last season.

"I think they're pretty good if he stays healthy," Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin said of Davis' chances at Steadman's crown. "He had 1,800 last year on (138) carries. He's bigger and stronger this year so we expect him to get more carries. Of course, everybody's going to be gunning for him."

Colleges already are. Davis, who owns a 3.4 unweighted GPA in an IB schedule, has offers from North Texas and FIU, and said he receives mail almost daily from Miami and USF. Princeton, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Stanford and Georgia Tech also have shown interest.

"I'm going to give it all I've got this year," said Davis, a returning 100-meter state medalist in track who's running the 100 and 200 this spring. "Hopefully I'll be the county leading rusher, hopefully the state."

County rushing kings
Veteran Orlando Sentinel high school sports reporter Buddy Collings has compiled a list of the state's alltime rushers. Here are Hillsborough County's top five:

Avious Steadman, Riverview 5,320 (1998-2001)
Lydell Ross, Gaither 5,120 (1998-2000)
Kalvin Bailey, Armwood 4,841 (2002-04)
Earl Reeves, Tampa Catholic 4,591 (1986-88)
Fred Pisano, Berkeley Prep 4,545 (1983-86)

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