Spring Signing Week '10: Davis Signs with Seminoles
by Colette Lewis
, 14 April 2010
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Blue chip Blake Davis looks back on last year's USTA Boys 18 Clay Court championships as an important moment in his college search.
Unseeded in Delray Beach, Davis went on to reach the quarterfinals in the main draw and the consolation final, results that confirmed both the health of his surgically-repaired knee and his position as one of the nation's top recruits. And although it would be months before he and his family had made their way through the recruiting process, Davis cited Florida State
's steadfast support as an important factor in his decision to sign a National Letter of Intent this month to join the Seminoles.
"Even though I hadn't been playing a lot - I was out for a year with knee surgery and that was my first Supernational back - Florida State was showing a lot of interest in me," said Davis, a resident of Austin, Texas. "I was looking at five different schools from the beginning, and Florida State's interest was really attractive from the get-go. For them to have that much faith in me, I thought that was pretty outstanding."
Davis had not one, but three surgeries on his knee, when it became clear that his chronically aching knee was not simply "growing pains." After the first surgery established the serious nature of his injury, Davis scheduled the second with Dr. Daniel Cooper, the team physician of the Dallas Cowboys. Diagnosed with OCD, Osteochondritis dissecans, Davis had two biodegradable screws inserted and a bone graft during the procedure, and was expected to make a full recovery. But the pain returned.
"I was on my second or third tournament after coming back, and I felt the exact same pain," said Davis, who turned 19 earlier this month. "I'm pretty scared at that point, pretty worried about it. But it turned out to just be scar tissue, so I had just a minor surgery to clean up the scar tissue. I may always have a little discomfort in there, but it's nothing like it was."
With that dark cloud dissipated, Davis could turn his attention to the recruiting process, a less perilous journey for him with the guideposts provided by his two older brothers, Tres and Brandon.
Tres competed at Texas A&M during the 2000-2001 season before turning pro, while Brandon played at Illinois, graduating in 2008. Their father, Doug Davis, who is head coach at the Austin Tennis Academy and has served as coach for all three of his sons, admits to receiving his own kind of education during their stints in college.