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December 1, 2011
Mike Davis initially slept through the news.
When the first phone call came to inform him that a goal he had hoped to accomplish all season had been reached, Davis didn't answer. But the news wouldn't fall on deaf ears for long.
"My coach called to congratulate me and that's how I found out," he said.
Davis, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back from Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson, had become a U.S. Army All-American. The honor meant he would get not only a chance to play in the Jan. 7 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, but also an opportunity to play another game as a teammate of Stephenson linebacker and good friend Raphael Kirby.
"I was just hoping to get an invite to any all-star game," Davis said. "Then I saw Kirby get invited to the Army Game, and I was like, 'I want to go wherever he goes.'"
Kirby is just one of a number of players Davis will know in San Antonio, an experience he is already excited about. The Army Bowl will give the Florida commit an opportunity to prove himself against some of the nation's best athletes but will also provide him with a game he is viewing in more of a recreational manner.
"The main thing I'm focusing on is just going out there and having fun," he said. On Thursday, Davis was presented with his Army Bowl jersey in a ceremony in front of his classmates at Stephenson. In attendance were both his mother and his older brother, Detroit Lions running back James Davis, who Mike said showed up "to make sure everything went well."
For Davis, it was another opportunity to display the merits of his hard work in front of his fellow students. Coming into the season, Davis felt he was being constantly overlooked on a national scale on the heels of a junior season in which he split carries with South Florida commit Willie Davis.
"I think most people had no idea who I was," Davis said. "I was way up under the radar."
An explosive senior season full of YouTube-worthy runs and big numbers helped fix any issues Davis was having with not getting noticed. He recently moved into the Rivals100 as the No. 95 overall prospect and No. 6 running back in the nation. The four-star back has been committed to the Gators since Feb. 19.
After sharing time with Willie as a junior, Mike was excited about the chance to star as a feature back for the Jaguars in his senior year and prove that split carries was the only thing keeping his name out of the national spotlight.
"That's exactly what it was," he said.
As for his Florida commitment, Davis said he is "a little undecided with Florida right now" but declined to comment further on the subject.
"It has to do with my commitment," Davis said. "There are just some things going on right now. That's all."