Athlete Worth Watching: Emmett Davis
Mar 24, 2016 03:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Broadneck High School senior Emmett Davis will play quarterback for the Naval Academy football team next year, even though it’s basketball that runs in his blood.
Broadneck High School: Football, Basketball
His father, Emmett, served as the head basketball coach at Colgate University for 13 years and also has spent 13 years as an assistant at Navy. His mother, Gail, is also a longtime basketball coach. She is the coach of the Broadneck girls varsity team and was an assistant at Georgetown and LaSalle universities and at Navy for a combined nine seasons.
All that basketball knowledge passed on from his parents has helped to make the younger Davis a standout player.
“My early childhood up until now has revolved around basketball,” Davis says. “I have been so fortunate to have opportunities to learn from them. I have felt my whole life I’ve had a pretty good basketball I.Q., and that’s a credit to my parents.”
Despite his family’s basketball tradition, his future is clearly in football. “I picked football for college because I felt I had more potential at the next level in football than I did in basketball,” Davis says.
Davis, who also had football offers from Princeton and Colgate universities, chose Navy, a team that cracked the Associated Press top-25 football rankings, beat Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, and compiled a sparkling 11-2 regular-season record under well-respected coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Davis verbally committed in early February. “I just felt it was such a great opportunity and one that not everybody gets a chance to do,” says Davis, who carries a 3.5 grade point average and is Student Government Association treasurer for his class. “I couldn’t see myself passing it up.”
Broadneck football coach Rob Harris says Davis is such a good athlete that he could easily change to another position on offense or even move to defense if he chose to.
“He is just a high-end athlete,” Harris says. “He is very fast and runs a 4.5 (in the 40-yard dash). If he doesn’t work out at quarterback, they could use him at safety, wide receiver or cornerback.”
Harris decided to turn Davis into a cornerback during his junior season because he already had Canaan Gebele locked in as his starting quarterback.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Davis responded by earning second-team All-County honors and leading the Bruins with four interceptions.
“I never expected to play the position,” Davis says. “It was something I was a little bit nervous about. I had never played anything but quarterback in my life. Being a quarterback really helped me at cornerback because I understand what they see and what disguises the offenses have. My instincts really helped me.”
Davis also shined during his senior year at quarterback, throwing for 1,416 yards and 13 touchdowns and only six interceptions while rushing for 374 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The 18-year-old Davis had some memorable games, including a five-touchdown effort in a 49-42 overtime victory over Arundel in mid-October and added three more touchdowns in a 41-16 conquest of Annapolis about a month earlier.
“If I had to tell you who he is like, I’d say Brett Favre,” Harris says. “He just makes plays. He can run, he can throw, and he is very instinctive. The game just comes naturally to him.”
Davis started playing football in the eighth grade, although he’s been playing basketball for 13 years.
And he’s certainly had a positive impact on the Broadneck basketball team as a four-year varsity player.
The versatile combo guard worked as the team’s sixth man as a sophomore, then earned a starting berth for the 2014/2015 season. Davis ranked third on the Bruins in scoring (8.2 average) and third in assists (3.4) during his junior campaign.
He scored a career-high 21 points in a rout of Glen Burnie that season and also had 18 points in a victory over North County. Davis missed the first month of this season because of a knee injury, but once he rejoined the team in January, Broadneck boys basketball coach Daryl Reid said the youngster came off the bench before starting again.
“We would put him on the other team’s best offensive player, and he always played him tough,” Reid says. “His competitiveness is his best attribute. He isn’t our main scorer, but he would have his nights where he would shoot the ball well. And sometimes, he would bring the ball up and run the offense. He kind of did a little bit of everything for us.”