While the entire world deals with the challenges of the Coronovirus and the importance of staying informed with the latest news and information, we here at WeloveAnnArbor.com will present a series of feature stories highlighting the successes, accomplishments and dreams of our neighbors right here in Ann Arbor. We hope these stories are not only a pleasant diversion, but also entertaining, informative and even inspiring.
Michael Davis had a goal, and because of this goal, he had a decision to make.
First, the goal.
Not only did he want to go to college, but he also wanted to play a sport. And, most importantly, he didn’t want to have to pay for it. “I had to find some way to get my school paid for so my parents wouldn’t have to worry,” says Davis, a three-sport athlete and exceptional student at Huron High School.
And now the decision – which in a way, was made for him.
“My junior year, basketball was my love, my focus and was my main sport,” he says looking back to last year. “But when I played my junior year of basketball I didn’t receive any offers and had zero interest from schools in that sport.”
His goal wasn’t going to happen on the hardwood so he switched gears and his focus to football, not exactly the most successful sport at Huron.
“I turned to focus more on football by being at every single off-season workout, every meeting, every 7 on 7, every film session, and never being out worked,” he said. “Then by the middle of the summer time and going into my senior year I received my first football offer from Davenport. Then the offers came rolling in one by one and by the time the football season started, I had multiple offers.”
In fact, Davis had earned 19 offers, including four preferred walk-on offers and all at his preferred position of wide receiver.
Michael, the son of Kimberly Micou-Davis and Steven Davis, also was a strong student with a 3.25 GPA – which certainly helped in getting those 19 offers. In the end, he went with Mercyhurst, an American Catholic liberal arts college in Erie, Penn.
“Everything from Mercyhurst was genuine, from the moment they came to speak with me at my school to the moment I stepped foot on campus to visit the school,” says Davis, who will major in public health. “I built a great relationship with the coaches and they really believe I can be something special in their program. I feel like I have a big chance to play early. And on top of that, it is a great education.”
Huron Coach Antaiwn Mack believes Mercyhurst is getting a strong student in the classroom and a great athlete with D-1 size as a football player.
“The very first time I met Mike I wasn’t the head football coach yet, but I was currently working in the building,” Mack said. “I told Mike that I think he could play college football. He looked at me like I was crazy and told me basketball was his sport. My advice to Mike was to work hard at both, but with his size, he will definitely get some looks in football so stay ready and be open minded.”
Mack said football is “life changing” for his standout wide receiver, who earned All-SEC honors last year.
“He has adapted very well,” Mack said. “Sometimes it’s hard for us to adjust to a new dream after having a dream of doing other things in life. Mike will do very well at Mercyhurst University.”
Davis also was doing very well as a member of the Huron boys’ varsity basketball team, a team with huge expectations and goals of winning it all before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season just before the River Rats were scheduled to play Lincoln in a District final.
“It’s been tough for us because we know how close we were to winning states this year and how much potential we had,” said Davis, who also was All-SEC in track last year. “But the suspension of the season has made us closer as a team.
“Playing basketball for Huron has been a great experience for me and my brothers. The sky was the limit for this group. We worked so hard every single day and it showed. It was amazing playing with them and we became a family.”
Speaking of family, Davis is getting the chance to spend a lot of time with his family these days.
“I’m just working out in my home and getting ready for my next step in life which is playing college football,” he said. “I also have picked up playing a lot of video games online with friends, and spending time with my family.”
Having all the success in basketball was a stark difference to Huron’s challenges on the gridiron. The River Rats won just one game in Davis’ three years on varsity.
“It was very tough, but coach Mack just told me that I just need to keep working hard every week and be the best player/leader I can be and that’s what I did,” Davis says. “A big highlight for me this past season was bonding with my team and always competing in practice.”
That competing in practice and his performance on the field and in the classroom helped Davis reach his goal – to play a sport in college and save his parents a lot of hard-earned money.