Malik Davis will help start the football program as Community Christian College in Lancaster, S.C.
It's understandable that Malik Davis needed a few moments to regain his composure before posing for his National Signing Day photos. Davis, who has been through more than his share of turmoil on and off the field, signed a junior college national letter-of-intent with Community Christian College in Lancaster, South Carolina on Wednesday morning at Sterlington High School.
As Davis prepared for the mock signing, thoughts of his late brother, the illness of multiple family members and the series of injuries which derailed his high school football career raced through his mind.
"I was thinking about my deceased younger brother, T.J. I play football for him," Davis said. "My grandma, Linda Rivers, is recovering from back surgery, so she couldn't make it today. My mom (Shaquita Davis) had a stroke when I was born. My other grandma, Rutha Richard, is in the hospital sick."
On the field, Davis has played sparingly the past two seasons due to injuries. As a sophomore, he could only watch as the Panthers defeated Madison Prep 28-27 in the Class 2A state championship game.
"I fractured my ankle (in Week 1) my junior year, and tore my ACL after a good start to my senior year," said Davis, who is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the torn ACL on Feb. 25. "My sophomore year, I got a hip pointer in the semifinals against Many and missed the state championship game.
"I got emotional because I'm blessed to have this opportunity, especially after everything I've been through."
Davis says he chose Community Christian, which will field its first football team in the fall, over Millsaps (Miss.) and Cornell College (Iowa) as well as an opportunity to be a preferred walk-on at Louisiana Tech.
"I chose to go to a junior college because I want to switch positions," Davis said. "The coach told me he would actually take the time to teach me a new position. Coming off of ACL surgery, I think the position change is best for me."
Davis began his high school career as a defensive back before moving to the offensive backfield as a sophomore.
"I'm excited about going back to defense," Davis said. "Look at Tyrann Mathieu — he and I are close to the same size. I saw what he did at LSU, and I want to try to do some of the same things."
Davis has also lettered twice in track for the Panthers.
A member of the National Honor Society, Davis has a 3.5 grade point average. He plans to major in criminal justice.
Davis says he will enroll at Community Christian for summer school in June.
"All of my classes will be on the computer, so I want have to go to class," Davis said. "I have a lot of college credits already."