They aren’t signed, sealed and delivered, but all-state defensive tackles Carlos and Khalil Davis say they might as well be, as they made a verbal commitment to play football at the University of Nebraska.
The Blue Springs High School junior standouts had been on Missouri coach Gary Pinkel’s radar for quite some time, but family ties and the appeal of playing in Lincoln were too much for the Tigers to overcome.
“We've been going to Nebraska camps and games for a long time,” said Carlos, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle. “Our uncle, Lorenzo Hicks (a Kansas City Southeast High School graduate), played at Nebraska (in 1987 and 1988) so we went up there quite a bit.
“It’s been our No. 1 choice since we started playing football. We listened to all the coaches who called, because we hadn’t heard from Coach Pelini.”
But two weeks ago, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini visited the twins while they were working out at the high school.
“That was amazing,” added Khalil, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 260. “He came into the gym and we knew he was serious about signing us by making the trip to Blue Springs. We can’t sign because we’re just juniors, but we aren’t going anywhere but Nebraska.”
The commitment pleased Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe, whose 2014 team will be attempting a three-peat after winning back-to-back Class 6 state championships.
“I’m happy for them, and to be honest, I am happy for our program,” Donohoe said. “You don’t want distractions during the football season, and now, they have made their verbal commitment to Nebraska.
“They may have made a verbal commitment, but I bet schools will still be after them. They are so good, the sky’s the limit for each one of them.”
Former Wildcat all-state player and coach John Garrison, a former Cornhuskers player who now coaches the offensive line at Nebraska, visited the Davis twins first.
“John came down, then Bo Pelini came down – and that really made an impact,” Donohoe said. “Then they sent their D-line coach (Rick Kaczenski) and their defensive coordinator (John Papuchis) came down. They hit them with all the big guns.”
The Davis twins can also concentrate on what they believe will be a special 2014 track and field season, as the Wildcats placed second at state the past two years.
“We can just concentrate on school and track,” Carlos said. “We’re excited about this season. When Coach (Joe) Cusack is your head coach, you better be excited because no one gets more excited about a sport than him.
“We're expecting big things this year in the shot and discus.”
Khalil finished second at state last year in the discus, while Carlos did not medal but qualified.