A Smorgasbord Of All-Star Invites Await D.J. Davenport
MADISON- The mailbox at the Davenport household has been filling up with invites for D.J. Davenport a defensive back for the Bob Jones football team. The son of Timothy and Karnella Winslow has been racking in offers from colleges and All-Star Game invites in a whirlwind of activity for the post-season.
“I’m trying to map out a plan to attend as many of the All-Star Games as I can, but the expense of each game is very high, plus the dates are very close to one another,” said Davenport who goes by D.J. but was christened De’Angelo.
With nine college offers waiting, Davenport has been invited to six All-Star/All-American Games. He has currently committed to two of the six. The games already on his schedule are the AHSAA North-South All-Star Game set for Dec. 17 in Mobile and the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl set for the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium Dec. 20. Additional games of his receiving an invite include the Elite Raw Talent Game on January 1, the Offense-Defense Game, Feb. 6 in Jacksonville, Fla., the Florida Suncoast Senior Showcase in Sarasota, Fla. Dec. 30 and the All-American Classic on January 15 in Orlando, Fla. at Camping World Stadium.
“I’m looking forward to the competition level of these games, which will make me a better player,” said Davenport. “I think it’s important to gain the exposure as I feel like I need to put on a show and make a big hit to make sure the college scouts see what I can do.”
He began playing football at age five while living in Shreveport, La. where he thrived in the atmosphere of the game he called “a happy place” and loved to score touchdowns as an offensive player. Once his family moved to Madison at the beginning of his seventh grade year he began to filter his talents onto the defensive side of the ball and by the time he became a varsity player as a sophomore he was a full-fledged defensive gem for the Patriots at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds. He has also participated on a 7 on 7 Southern Express team based out of Birmingham.
Davenport once suffered from juvenile arthritis, the most common among children under age 16. He suffered persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness throughout his body. He was prescribed a special medication and at ages 12 and 13 was actually providing self-injections in his lower stomach as prescribed. It was a brutal attack on his body, but he overcame the misgiving of his condition and is now pain free. Davenport added, “All of that was tough on me as many times I broke out into a rash on many parts of my body. I used to wear hoodies, even in warm weather, to hide my condition.”
Once a baseball player before giving up that sport to concentrate on football in the fifth grade, Davenport now includes running indoor and outdoor track to his elite talents. He’s been clocked at 4.5-seconds in the 40-yard sprint, which makes him the fastest on the football team, and will add his sprint talents to the 60 and 4×100 for the indoor season and the 100 and 4×200 in the outdoor schedule. The Patriots senior also has the talent of doing back flips. That is something he learned as a youngster on his cousin’s trampoline.
Scouring through his college offers is something he is currently doing during his spare time as he also works two eight-hour shifts at Panera Bread at Bridgestreet. He said he saves much of what he makes for his future, which will include college where he hopes to earn a degree in business as he carries a 3.0 grade point average into the second half of his final year in high school.
“I had a coach in youth football that got me to like football and showed me I had a future in the sport,” added Davenport. “I’m proud to say my mother is my biggest supporter.”
What college recruiters should look for in Davenport are the facts he’s a team leader, an outstanding athlete, very versatile and aggressive on the football field.
“I feel I’m football smart, make adjustments as the game goes along and I can hit,” added Davenport.
No matter which of the six elite games he’s plays in, or if the cards and letters continue to be delivered, you can be sure he will be a hit and put on a show.