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Anthony Davis Declares for 2010 NFL Draft
Junior All-America Projected as First Round NFL Pick
  • Posted on December 22, 2009 12:29:42 PM
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  • Anthony Davis

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 22, 2009)Junior All-America offensive lineman Anthony Davis (Piscataway, N.J.) has elected to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Davis becomes the third player in the Greg Schiano era at Rutgers to leave school early and enter the NFL Draft.

    Ray Rice left Rutgers following his junior season in 2007 and was a second round draft selection of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 NFL Draft. Kenny Britt declared for the 2009 NFL Draft and was a first round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
    During Davis’ three-year career “On the Banks,” he was named a Second Team All-America selection in 2009 by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the nation’s oldest All-America team. Davis also collected Third Team All-America accolades by the Sporting News following the 2009 season.
    Davis was the third Scarlet Knight to earn a spot on the prestigious Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America team. Running back Ray Rice was a two-time Second Team All-America selection by the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2006 and 2007 while tight end Marco Battaglia was a Walter Camp Football Foundation First Team All-America honoree in 1995.
    Davis, a 2009 All-BIG EAST First Team honoree, was named a Freshman All-America in 2007.
    The Piscataway native started 32 career games for the Scarlet Knights, including 21 of the last 22 contests. He was part of three Scarlet Knight teams that captured bowl championships, starting in all three bowl victories.
    Davis came to Rutgers as one of the nation’s most decorated high school players.  A three-year starter at Piscataway for head coach Dan Higgins, Scout.com listed Davis as the nation's second-ranked offensive tackle and a five-star recruit. Rivals.com ranked Davis as one of the nation's top 100 recruits and he was a Parade First-Team All-American. Considered by most recruiting services the top prospect in New Jersey, Davis was the first No. 1 prospect in the Garden State to sign with Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
    Quotes from Anthony Davis
    Opening statement
    “I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and family for making a moment like this even possible. I want to announce that I will be entering the 2010 NFL Draft. “
    On whether Davis debated coming back for senior season
    “It’s been in my heart for a while. It’s always been in the back of my head and now that the opportunity is here, I sat down with coaches and my parents and we decided that this is the best move for me.”
    On whether rumors of draft stock played a role in decision
    “No. Usually when I heard it, it was from family members. Right now, no one really knows what is going on. I don’t put a lot of weight into it or get influenced by that. It’s nice to hear.”
    On next step in the draft process
    “Over the next few weeks I will be figuring out my agent situation.”
    On whether he accomplished everything he wanted while at Rutgers
    “I feel that I have things that I can still accomplish here, but right now I’m just following my heart like coach [Greg Schiano] told me. Right now I feel like the NFL is where I want to be.”
    On where he is projected to be drafted
    “I hear first round but that’s all I know.”
    On whether being drafted in the first round was his goal when he arrived as a freshman
    “My goal when I came here was take it step by step and whatever the coaches told me I needed to work on, that would be my goal then. Team goals came first and then my personal goals would be to dominate and being recognized for it with awards after the season. There is more to this place. My teammates are like a family.”
    On playing in the NFL as a goal
    “It’s been a dream since I was young. Ever since I watched my first football game, I realized that’s what I wanted to do.”
    On whether he is ready for the NFL
    “Just listening to my coaches, they give me good advice on if it’s smart for me to come out or not right now and I trust them. I believe in my ability enough to know I can play on that level.”
    On whether his mindset changes now that playing in the NFL is a business
    “I will play with the same passion but the business part of it will be my job.”
    On whether his teammates know of his decision
    “No. They joke with me about it but I will let my teammates know that I will be leaving.”
    On whether any of his teammates lobbied for him to stay for senior season
    “Yes, but it’s been in my heart so there’s not much that they can do. They know I love them and I love this place but it’s just the right time for me right now.”
    On whether he spoke to past early entrants into the NFL draft, Ray Rice and Kenny Britt
    “No, the season was so busy along with their NFL season I never really got a time to catch up and just sit down and talk about things like this.”
    On whether he will complete his Rutgers degree
    “Yes. In the near future, I will be getting my degree.”
    On his immediate goals
    “I want to be in the best shape I can be in and be ready to perform when it’s time for me to perform. I’m going to be trying to get better every day. Training and eating the right things so hopefully every day I get a little bit better.”
    On past success of Rutgers linemen in the NFL being a tribute to the program
    “That’s a tribute to our program. We are taught discipline as well as hard work and great work ethic and that’s the type of things you’ll need playing on that level.”
    On proudest accomplishments at Rutgers
    “Being a part of the 2007 team that was second in the nation in sacks allowed. That was big for me to be a part of a group like that and having a running back do as well as Ray Rice did. It’s nice to be part of something special like that.”
    Quotes from Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano
    On impact of players leaving Rutgers early
    “From a head coach’s standpoint, I’m excited by the actual recruiting and getting top athletes in the country; guys that can go to the NFL early and be in the top rounds. I think a player from our program can look and say ‘those guys did it and their doing well’.”
    “But again it’s awfully hard as a head coach. I just try to give them as many facts as I can but in the end, it’s what’s in their heart. In every one of the situations, I have asked them ‘after all the information and all the things given to you, what’s in your heart? What do you want to do?’ Certainly it’s tempting but there have been guys that have stayed as well. I just think it’s an individual thing. For Anthony, I think this is 100 percent the right decision, I think he’s going to be a great pro football player and whoever gets him is very fortunate.”
    On whether information points to Davis as a first round draft pick
    “From everybody I’ve talked to but I’ve been there [coached in the NFL], this guy is a first round draft pick. He’ll do very well. He loves the game of football, that is the number one. This kid, he’s a football player, he loves it. There are not enough of them in that league that truly love the game.”
    On his best fit [position] in the NFL
    “That will be their decision. I think he’s every bit talented to be a left tackle in that league. He’s such a young guy that they’re getting a guy that has a lot of life left in him. He’s been healthy in his whole career; I think he’s a real attractive pick.”
    On how Davis will fair at the NFL combine
    “He’s going to do well at the combine. He’s so athletic. He’s athletic for anybody, forget big or small but then you take the fact that he’s 320 pounds, he’s an incredible athlete.”
    On his growth during his time at Rutgers
    “He’s matured quite a bit. Four years ago, he wouldn’t have been able to stand up there and do what he did but that’s just a surface thing. I’ve seen him grow up immensely. His mom is a special lady. She raised those kids and did a great job. Anthony got here and Anthony wanted to continue to grow as a man. He’s been surrounded by some great people and has opened himself up and allowed himself to grow, which is going to serve him well moving forward.”
    On whether his discussion with Davis was easier than past talks with other early entrants
    “Probably. I just think he’s ready in every way and I felt like that’s what he wanted to do. Ray [Rice] and Kenny [Britt] struggled more with it. I just think AD knew what was right for him, but I don’t ever want to get into that during the season. We talked about it as I do with all the guys. When the season’s over, we will get at it, examine it and you’ll make a decision and follow your heart. It doesn’t do any good to speculate during the season because it takes your mind off the job at hand. I think he did a good job of that, staying focused and playing well.”
    On advice regarding the agent selection process
    “I tell all the guys the same thing. You go from being part of a family, college football program, now you’re your own entity, your own business. The whole business is you. If you don’t work, your business goes out of business and now you’re like the rest of us working. I know he understands that and I think he’ll do a good job.”
    On the challenge of replacing three starting offensive linemen
    “I’m excited that we are recruiting the guys that are capable of coming out like that, I’d love for them to stay and finish school now, but Anthony has promised me that he’s going to finish school and get his degree so I’m going to hold him that.”
    On players leaving as juniors as a recruiting tool
    “Well it will be two first round picks in a row, I’m confident of that and the one who was a second round pick is the best running back in NFL right now, so I think guys can look and say ‘Rutgers is a place I can do everything I want and more’.”
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