Bryan running back Jalen Davis fights for 11 yards late in a 40-0 loss, and when officials whistle the play dead, he pops up screaming and pumping his fists as if he had just made a first down to clinch a victory.
“I just love the game,” Davis said. “It’s for my team. I’ve got to do it for them, go 100% every play.”
The senior deserves to be excited about his performance this season. He leads the team in rushing, receiving and kickoff return yardage. He’s averaging well over 10 yards every time he touches the ball, and he’s rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and would have a 99-yard kickoff return for a score if not for a penalty.
“It’s fun to see, because we talked about it: Let’s go out there and play a play at a time and have some fun at this,” Bryan head coach Ross Rogers said. “I like the energy he brings. He has fun, and that is good to have. He gives us a bunch of that.”
That energy is rolled up in a small package with Davis standing 5-foot-6 and weighing 160 pounds. He was affectionately dubbed “Lil’ Bit” by Rogers when he was a sophomore. Davis says he likes the nickname that has caught on with his teammates.
Davis and the Vikings will be looking to get their first District 14-6A victory of the season at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium at 7 p.m. Thursday against Bridgeland (4-1, 2-1), which has prospered in its first season with a senior class. Davis likely will have to play a huge role if Bryan (1-3, 0-2) is to earn its first win since the season opener.
“I want to play a big role, and I want to continue to [lead],” Davis said. “I want to be a big part of this team, so I stay focused in the game and in school. I don’t want to let them down, because if I do, I feel that I’ve let myself down.”
Davis, expected to line up predominately as a receiver and kick returner, has seen his responsibilities grow week by week. He had a 29-yard touchdown catch on a tunnel screen in the opener, showing off his elusiveness, speed and vision on the play. He caught the ball near the line of scrimmage, made the first defender miss then used his downfield blocking as he darted across the field toward the pylon.
“I don’t know where that [move] came from,” Davis said of avoiding the first Waller defender in the Vikings’ 14-3 victory. “I didn’t know it was that bad until we watched the film, and I was, whoa, I made him miss like that? It was just a quick reaction, make a move and then go. When I caught the ball and scored, I felt like I can have a great season. In the scrimmages, I did pretty good, and then we got to the game and I did way better than I usually do, so I thought this could be a great season.”
Davis has 11 catches for 112 yards and 219 yards rushing on 23 carries. His rushing touchdown came on a 28-yard sprint up the middle against Langham Creek last week. He is averaging 27.3 yards per kickoff return, and because of that, teams have started to kick away from him. He has two kick returns for touchdowns as a Viking, one in each of the previous two seasons, and says there is no doubt he can make it three in three seasons.
“On kick returns, get the ball and go,” Davis said. “If they kick it to me, I got to go — no hesitations, no moves, just go.”
Of Bryan’s 35 plays from scrimmage that have accounted for at least 10 yards, Davis has 15. Despite that, he is not asking for more touches.
“I don’t necessarily need the ball to contribute to the team,” Davis said. “If I make my blocks and keep doing what I’m doing now, I feel like I can have a bright future.”
Rogers says it’s that kind of attitude that has made him invaluable.
“He’s playing harder than he’s ever played,” Rogers said. “He’s matured, worked on his blocking more and certainly you see [improvement] in his physicality when he runs the ball. He’s able to finish runs.”
Davis’ fastest 40-yard time is 4.56 seconds according to Rogers, who added if they measured 30-yard times, he’d be among the best he’s seen.
“His acceleration, it’s like lightning,” Rogers... Click here to read full article