The hot, humid Coastal Bend town of Portland, Texas, is a good way geographically and culturally from College Park, Pa. Yet, Gregory-Portland running back Connell Davis covets an official visit and offer from his childhood hero Joe Paterno.
“It’s a long way for Coach Paterno to come, but he’s worth it,” Gregory head coach George Harris said about the star running back. “We brought him up as a freshman and he has been up here ever since. We have had great teams here who work hard and overachieve, but no one as talented at Connell.”
The oversized beach bum is originally from Philadelphia and has family in the Pennsylvania area. Cutting to the chase – he favors Penn State early.
Davis (6-3, 210-pounds) gained 1,275 yards and scored 17 touchdowns last season with a broken bone in his shoulder. He was diagnosed with a shoulder separation after Gregory-Portland’s second game and only missed 12 quarters in 2003, before looking into the nagging injury.
“He’s a tough kid, a hard-worker is should be academically qualified by the spring,” Harris said. “He’s lost a little weight since running track, but he’ll get it back in the off-season.
Davis is the anchor leg in most of his track team’s relay squads and will be attending the Texas Relays for the triple jump.
“He’s going to go to the Nike Camp and TCU told them they were going to offer,” Harris said. “His mother is also in college right now, so I don’t know if they will be able to afford any college camps this summer.”
Davis isn’t the only prospect for Portland, which returns nine offensive starters and eight on defense. Climbing the recruiting ranks is Victor Brooks – a 6-4, 230-pound defensive end – that has a tremendous upside.
“Victor has only played football two years and he’s so athletic,” Harris said. “He’s a raw talent and we will get him on the field on both sides of the ball next season. Recruiting gurus consider him a sure fire Division I prospect.”
Brooks’ parents moved back to the Corpus Christi, Texas, from Hawaii after his freshman year. His father is in the Navy and Brooks was never involved in organized sports while off the mainland. He currently favors the University of Houston to date.