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PREP FOOTBALL '93 / SMALL SCHOOLS : Davis Keeps Head While Turning Others

September 07, 1993|MARTIN BECK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CYPRESS — Reggie Davis could easily be Mr. Big Stuff on the Brethren Christian High School campus.

Last year he helped the football team to the Southern Section Division X semifinals and the basketball team to the State Division V title game. This year he's one of the main reasons the Warriors' football team is top-ranked in the state at its level, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

Davis is 6 feet 4, 200 pounds, handsome, articulate--everything a starting quarterback should be. Judging from the mail and phone calls pouring into the Davis household, he's coveted by such college football programs as California, Colorado, Washington, Washington State, Texas, Fresno State, UCLA and USC.

Head-swelling attention, you might think. It's hard not to stand out at a school of only 450 students.

But if Davis has any images of grandeur, he keeps them well under wraps.

"I don't particularly like cocky people," he said. "That's something I dislike, so I really try to keep a lid on it. I've read my Bible verses. In Proverbs it says pride comes before destruction."

Last year in his first game as a starting quarterback, Davis got a dose of what destruction might feel like. Davis was sacked eight times in a 21-6 season-opening loss to Bellflower, a public school more than twice the size of Brethren.

"I learned the downside of being a quarterback real fast." Davis said. "You get that initial hype, "Hey, I'm the starting quarterback.' But they showed me real fast that it's not always the best place to be. But our offensive line is real good this year, and I have no doubt Bellflower is going to have a game on their hands this time."

Bellflower, which will play the Warriors in the opener Sept. 11 at Artesia High, is again a formidable opponent, ranked No. 4 in the preseason Division VIII poll.

But Davis is well prepared. After the shaky start last year, he went on to post modest numbers. He completed 88 of 190 passes (46.3%) for 1,209 yards and nine touchdowns. He was intercepted 12 times. He rushed for 399 yards and six touchdowns in 103 carries.

Coach Ken Sharrar has replaced Mike Roark, who resigned in February, and installed a new system, in which Davis will again be a threat to run or pass, but will be asked to make more decisions at the line of scrimmage.

"We're not a pro offense with the complicated reads that they have," Sharrar said. "But I think Reggie's hungry for the opportunity to do the cerebral part of football that perhaps he's never been asked to do."

Davis is a tireless worker in the weight room--he can bench press 330 pounds--but his strength can sometimes be a weakness.

"There are times that he could take a little off, where he could throw it with less velocity and still complete the pass," Sharrar said.

Even if he isn't able to ease up as a passer, his future in college looks bright. A strong student--he has a 3.3 grade-point average and his Scholastic Aptitude Test score is above the NCAA minimum--he plans to study communications.

He started fielding calls from college coaches and recruiting coordinators Aug. 15, the first day NCAA rules allow direct contact, and although he would like to go to school out of state he isn't ruling anything out.

He's especially concerned with making sure the academic side of his college experience is productive, so he is asking plenty of questions about the communications departments, graduation rates and such.

Bill Cunerty, the offensive coordinator at Saddleback College, witnessed Davis' ability at a summer passing camp last summer and was impressed.

But perhaps more impressive, Cunerty said, was what Davis did after the camp.

"When the camp was over he was the first guy to come up and say, 'Thank you,' and I think he said thanks to every coach there. It's the little things that make a good impression on people."

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