4.30.2018

How did Glen Davis Fall to the 36th Pick?

1/6/2008

How did Glen Davis Fall to the 36th Pick?

It's difficult to imagine a player who slides to the 36th pick in the draft having such an intriguing collection of skills, but that is essentially the case with Glen Davis.



The Celtics rookie finishes better than most first-year players, and he also has footwork that takes others years -- if ever -- to develop.

``I liken it to guys like Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi,'' said Danny Ainge. ``These are guys who didn't fit the length everyone was looking for, or the proper vertical jump, or had the prototypical size for the position. But there's a lot of guys who have succeeded without fitting that guideline.

``All Glen Davis has done his whole career has been to be a good basketball player and overcome what people saw as his physical limitations.''

There was, however, a sport where Davis fit every standard there was, with the exception of the running back position he played on a state championship high school team.

Instead, college scouts from across the country thought they saw -- because of those soft hands -- a tight end, or -- because of his quick, coordinated feet -- a left tackle.

As someone who was well over 300 pounds at the time, he certainly fit the size requirements for both spots.

``I heard from all over the country,'' Davis said of football recruiters.

Collis Temple, the former Louisiana State University star who helped raise Davis, oversaw the recruitment process.

``The Notre Dame coach at the time came down to look at him,'' Temple said of Tyrone Willingham. ``Every football coach in the country wanted this boy. He was a freak. We're talking about a senior in high school who weighed 340 pounds and could run a 4.9 40. He's a freak, man.''

Included in that crowd was Nick Saban, who was just down the street at LSU at the time. Thanks to Temple's LSU's ties, Saban also figured to have an inside track -- if Davis chose football, anyway.

``Glen decided not to play football his senior year, but I remember taking Glen to meet Nick Saban, anyway,'' said Temple. ``Nick said, 'Look, if you don't want to play football your senior year then that's fine. But I want you to come to LSU regardless of what you play, and then we'll see.'

``Nick was planning to talk Glen into playing football when he got there,'' he said. ``He was comparing Glen to Antonio Gates, another basketball player who became quite a football player. But it's just not what Glen wanted.''

Asked last week if he felt he made the right choice, Big Baby broke into a slow, self-satisfied smile. He never did answer the question. He didn't have to.

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