Gilman star Davis headed to Princeton Both lacrosse, football on his Tigers agenda

October 21, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Gilman's Damien Davis, who in June became The Sun's first male non-senior named Athlete of the Year, announced yesterday that he has orally committed to three-time defending zTC NCAA lacrosse champion Princeton and that he will sign before the early signing period ends for lacrosse on Nov. 1.

Davis, heavily recruited by a number of schools for football, said he also plans to play that sport for the Tigers. He was a second-team All-City/County running back last year, and is the captain of this fall's No. 1-ranked Greyhounds (7-0).

Davis, who also earned All-Metro wrestling honors last winter, had visited Cornell, Duke, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins for lacrosse.

"Recruiting went well, but I felt that Princeton was the place for me," said Davis, 6 feet 1, 205 pounds, an All-Metro lacrosse defenseman who captained last season's Greyhounds to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference title and a No. 1 ranking in The Sun.

An honor-roll student who scored 1,200 on his SAT, Davis said Virginia also would have allowed him to participate in both sports.

Several other schools wanted him only for football, including Notre Dame -- which "called a lot," said his mother, Marilyn -- Michigan, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Maryland.

"It was easy to turn the football scholarships down, because I wanted to play football and lacrosse in college and several of the programs didn't offer that to me," Davis said.

"Of course it's an honor, but I was surprised at how overwhelming the process can be," said Marilyn Davis, whose fielded recruiting calls from 4 to 10 p.m. "Damien's been really good about it. He talked to everyone when he wasn't studying."

Princeton, known for its defense, has had the NCAA's Defenseman of the Year twice this decade, including last season. Davis also continues Gilman's pipeline to the university, which already boasts Gilman graduates Lorne Smith, an All-America attack-midfielder, starting goalkeeper Corey Popham and midfielders Michael Allen and James McIntyre.

"I went on my visit up there and it was nice talking to them, getting their feel on Princeton," said Davis, 18. "At Gilman, we're also expected to win, just like we'll be expected to win at Princeton."

As a wrestler last winter, Davis went 39-0 against Maryland opponents, winning Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and state titles and finishing second at the National Preps Tournament.

Unusually fast (4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash) for his size, Davis has the breakaway speed that Division I football coaches relish.

He has produced nearly 2,157 yards and scored 21 touchdowns over two seasons. This year, he's run for a game-high 192 yards and had scores of 58 and 81 yards on six carries in a 44-0 rout of Boys' Latin.

Pub Date: 10/21/98

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