Offensive lineman Austin Davis (Mansfield, Texas) has noticed the tradition and prestige of the Duke basketball team. On Saturday, Davis decided to be the trendsetter for building similar tradition and prestige for the football team.
Davis committed to the Blue Devils early Saturday afternoon and became coach David Cutcliffe’s first commitment of the 2013 class. A 6-foot-4, 295-pound center, Davis was the first of two commitments on Saturday, as athlete Quay Chambers (Monroe, N.C.) gave his verbal pledge minutes after.
“I, both me and [Chambers], can help get the ball rolling in getting others interested in Duke,” Davis said. “I want people to look at Duke football as a powerhouse. I know Coach Cutcliffe is turning this thing around, and we’ll be a powerhouse in a few years.”
Recruited by offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, Davis was offered by the Blue Devils a few weeks ago. Duke was his first and only offer, but he also received interest from SMU, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma State and Maryland. Davis is expected to play center for Duke but is versatile enough to play guard and tackle if necessary.
Davis committed on an unofficial visit to Durham, N.C. He flew to North Carolina with his parents and was invited to visit the campus and watch practice. After the practice, he had the chance to meet in Cutcliffe’s office, which is where he delivered the news.
“I was able to see all the things Duke had,” Davis said. “They have a wonderful campus, and I really saw everything I liked. I told Coach Cutcliffe I’d like to play at Duke, and he was very happy about that.
“Even though it’s far away from Texas, I felt a feeling of like it was home there. The players are absolutely phenomenal, and the coaches care about the kids. Plus, they have great academic tutors, and the academics are wonderful. What really set them apart was that they’re all a big family."
Davis is a two-time, all-district selection who helped Mansfield advance three rounds deep in the Texas Class 5A Division II playoffs. He was a big reason why Mansfield rushed for more than 285 yards per game in 2011.