Despite losing the last two seasons of university football to separate ACL injuries, Marcus Davis is too good for the CFL not to take a chance on.
The former Mount Douglas Rams superstar and North Saanich resident went 31st in the recent CFL draft to the Hamilton Tiger Cats where his brother, Terrell, has been playing as a linebacker. As a Canadian, the nimble wide receiver can return punts and kicks as well, and presents plenty of options for a roster-capped CFL squad.
It’s been five months since Davis’ most recent surgery and he’s about 80 per cent of the way through his recovery.
“I didn’t want to say Hamilton was my No. 1 team, because I would have played for anyone, I’d take any opportunity,” Davis said. “But to play for them knowing my bro is there, and how comfortable I am with the city is amazing.”
Davis visited Terrell and the Tiger Cats last summer. He spent a week and was able to use the facility and couldn’t help envisioning playing there one day.
🏈 FB | Congratulations to T-Birds wide receiver Marcus Davis (@Mr_MarcusDavis) on being selected by the @Ticats in the 4th round of the 2018 @CFL draft! #CFLDraft #GoBirdsGo pic.twitter.com/2L5d75sXHz
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) May 4, 2018
The reality is it’s been a tough couple of years for Davis. In his rookie year with the UBC Thunderbirds he won the Vanier Cup national championship along side Saanich’s Quinn Van Gylswyk and former Ram Sheldon Mack.
But a torn ACL in 2016, and a tear to the opposite knee in 2017, has limited to just played six games in the past two seasons. Because of the limited playing time he’s opted to return to the UBC Thunderbirds for his fifth and final season of eligibility this fall. When he eventually does join Hamilton, it’lll be the third time Davis has played with his big brother, who is two years his major. Davis played up as a junior to help partner in the Rams’ AAA championship in 2011. It was the first of three straight Rams’ AAA provincial Subway Bowl titles that Davis was part of, when he was also named B.C.’s AAA Player of the Year for 2012 and 2013 (Terrell earned that award in 2011).
“It was a tough time to get injured, the last two years have been an important time to be evaluated by CFL coaches,” said Davis, who’s missed last year’s all-important U Sports East-West Bowl and the official combine that goes with it.
Davis is confident both injuries came on freak plays, and that his knees are capable of career in football.
“The second injury happened because of an imbalance between legs, I came back too early from injury, but now I know what can do and what I need to do in the rehab process,” said Davis, who believes in the UBC medical training staff. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to play at the next level.”
Getting drafted brings new hope to Davis, who’s career has taken a turn for the worse. Davis admits it’s only natural after two devastating knee injuries to to start thinking the worst.
“I’ve tried to keep a level head about it all and control only what I can control, I know I will return to play football again, and that’s still my motivation today,” Davis said.
It didn’t get any easier, either. The first injury was hard because Davis had never missed a season and that in itself was something he had to get used to.
“Just because I’d had two good seasons, I knew my name was on the [CFL] radar, so it was hard when I wasn’t able to participate [in the East-West Bowl].”
Davis is permitted to join the Tiger Cats training camp while he recovers.
“I will watch and learn at training camp and learn everything I can,” he said. “My main priority is just to get back to 100 per cent healthy and I’m not quite there.”