Terriers' task: Caging a swift, cunning Hawk
Hillsborough is so aware of Torrey Davis' talent, it has specific plays just for the defensive lineman.
By SCOTT PURKS
Published August 25, 2006
TAMPA - Armwood's Torrey Davis is the No.-1 rated football player in the state.
He's big (6-4, 270 pounds).
Fast. Strong. Mean. Relentless.
"Believe me, we know all of that," Hillsborough High center Darrell Mechley said. "We've heard it over and over."
Concerned? "Not really," Mechley said. "We're more concerned about what we're doing. We're focused on our jobs."
Which tonight will mean blocking, or trying to block, Davis, one of the best defensive linemen county has ever produced.
"Believe me, knowing where Torrey Davis is, is an extremely high priority," Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia said. "We will have at least two guys blocking him at almost all time because I really don't believe there is anybody in this county who can contain him one-on-one.
"We've had to come up with some schemes specifically for him to try and contain him. Seriously, he's that good."
It's not so much the strength, said Mechley, but the speed.
"He's incredibly, incredibly, quick off the ball," Mechley said. "He can be in the backfield before you know it."
"Finesse" is the word Hillsborough tight end Charley Hughlett used.
"He uses those long arms and limbs and does a lot of 'swim' moves," Hughlett said. "He's not shoving and mowing over people so much, not to say that he can't do that as well. I just think it's more about his speed."
Mechley added: "You're going to see some big guys, some 6-foot-5, 280-pound guys, but the thing is, those big guys don't move (like Davis)."
Through last season, Davis collected 14 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss, but there are things that make people think his numbers might take a dramatic jump, including increased bench press from 360 pounds to more than 400; improved 40-yard dash from just under five seconds to a blistering 4.7 (recorded at a recent college combine).
None of the hype seems to faze Davis. He just smiles like he did last week after the preseason game when he announced he was committing to the University of Florida.
"All I want to do is play," he said.
Which is almost exactly what Hughlett said.
"The fact he is a big name makes me want to put my name up against him," Hughlett said. "I want to get in there and show what I can do against an All-American."
Garcia, like Mechley, said he is truly more concerned about his team's execution.
"We basically have an entirely new offensive team from last season," Garcia said. "We hoped to get prepared with last week's preseason game but now that we've gotten 'lightninged out' (against Lakeland), we have to use the first half of this one as our preseason game. Well, we're doing the best we can. Now we'll just have to see."