Wake Forest wide receiver Terence Davis says a caravan of family and friends representing his Georgia hometown and high school are planning a five-hour trip to see him and a couple of old friends this fall.
"I heard they're bringing a party bus for the tailgate," said Davis, a 6-2, 205-pound senior from Brookwood High in Snellville, Ga.
This is no ordinary reunion. When Army plays Wake Forest on Sept. 22 in Winston-Salem, N.C., Davis will be lining up against two close friends and former Brookwood teammates, Army senior cornerback Josh Jackson and senior defensive end Jarrett Mackey.
"Honestly, it's going to be surreal on that first drive to see myself facing fellow Brookwood Bronco teammate who are both a brother and a best friend," Davis said. "I'm going to have to get over that real quick and get ready for the battle."
All three are fifth-year seniors (Davis redshirted in 2008 and Jackson and Mackey attended the USMA Prep School) who play prominent roles. Davis started three games and played in all 13 last year while catching 20 passes for 269 yards and five touchdowns. Davis split time with Chris Givens, who is now the in the NFL as the St. Louis Rams' fourth-round draft pick. Naturally, Davis will see plenty of Jackson (6-0, 185), a third-year starter who had 40 tackles and one interception.
"We have a good feel for each other competing and working out over the summer," Davis said. "I know he'll be watching film of me and I'll be watching film of him."
I don't think there is star system that can measure those guys. They have so much will power and character -- especially having success at a place like West Point".
- Army Wake Forest Wide Receiver, Terence Davis
Davis is split wide in Wake Forest's offense, so he doesn't anticipate throwing blocks on defensive ends. He does sometime come inside looking for a linebacker or safety playing the run to block, but it's unlikely he and Mackey (6-1, 240) will go head to head.
"I don't come inside too far to get the defensive end, but I might give Jarrett a love tap here and there just to let him know I'm there," Davis said. "I know he'll be looking for me to pick me up off the ground a couple of times. It's possible we'll encounter each other."
In the trio's senior year at Brookwood, Davis played quarterback, Jackson wide receiver, cornerback and return man and Mackey defensive end and tight end. Interestingly, considering their college success, all three players were lightly recruited coming out of Brookwood. Davis was a Rivals 2-star prospect and Mackey and Jackson were unranked.
"I'm definitely proud of them," Davis said. "They've made a lot of strides in the last four, five years. I don't think there is star system that can measure those guys. They have so much will power and character -- especially having success at a place like West Point. Every time I've seen them when we're home, they've always improved at something I didn't think they could get better. They are stronger on and off the field; they are high character men."
Although Davis played quarterback his senior year, he was a wide receiver his sophomore and junior seasons. He knew all along his college position was wide receiver, so playing quarterback might have hurt his recruiting stock. When he went to summer recruiting combines, he drilled as a wide receiver. When Wake Forest offered him before his senior year, he decided to commit instead of waiting.
"I knew the team needed me to play quarterback," Davis said. "Once I had an offer, I wanted to commit. I didn't want to be one of those guys worried about his stats as a wide receiver during the season. I wanted to do everything to help my team. I'm happy at Wake Forest. They have given me to the tools to excel academically and on the field to be a great football player."
In high school, Davis was a team captain. Wake Forest hasn't named its team captains yet this year, but Davis said he will be filled with pride watching Mackey as Army's Legacy captain whether Davis meets him at midfield or is watching the coin flip from the sideline.
"Jarrett wasn't a team captain in high school, but he definitely showed the characteristics of being a leader and team captain," Davis said. "Jarrett and Josh have both added to the leadership they already had in high school. The fact that Jarrett was named the Legacy captain after he had his knee injury last year shows you he's a fighter and a warrior. It shows you his determination to stay with it.
"I saw Jarrett on TV trying to encourage and teach guys, even though he was injured," Davis said. "That takes a lot of character to do that when you're not on the field and might not feel part of the team."
Davis said the number of friends planning to join family in attending the Army-Wake Forest game is an example of his community's support and pride. The five-hour drive will be tough, but Davis noted dressing for the family and friends will be easy; black and gold are the school colors for both Army and Wake Forest
"They won't have any trouble dressing for the game," Davis said cheerfully.
Stay tuned for Part II of the Brookwood Pride: Jackson, Mackey and Davis, as Army's Josh Jackson discusses the friendship, camaraderie and upcoming head to head with close friend Terence Davis.
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