SUMMERVILLE — A year ago, Summerville High School offensive coordinator Joe Hall considered Davon Anderson a track and field sprinter playing football.
This season, not so much.
Anderson was a sophomore last spring when he finished third in the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the 400-meter hurdles at the state track meet in Columbia. He was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the elite hurdlers/sprinters in the state and a college track scholarship was just a mere formability.
The problem with most track athletes who play football is that they tend to shy away from contact. Instead of lowering their pads and taking on tacklers, they’ll use their speed to avoid getting hit.
At 6-0 and 190 pounds, there’s nothing shy about Anderson, who seeks out contact instead of avoiding it.
“Davon is a punishing runner,” Call said. “Most guys who run track are not very physical. Davon is usually the one initiating contact. Just ask any linebacker that has tried to tackle him.”
But Anderson’s main weapon is still his speed. Give him an inch of daylight and you can forget about catching him.
“No one is going to catch Davon if gets into the open field,” Call said.
Goose Creek found that out the hard way as they watched helplessly as Anderson took a pitch around the right side and raced 68 yards untouched for a touchdown.
To date, Anderson has rushed for 495 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He is averaging more than six yards every time he touches the ball.
“Good things usually happen when the ball’s in his hands,” Call said.
After dominating the junior varsity level as a sophomore, he was moved up to the varsity squad midway through the 2011 season. In his first game, he rushed for 90 yards and scored a TD in a win over James Island. Summerville head coach John McKissick gushed about Anderson after the game.
“He’s a special talent,” McKissick said. “He’s got good speed and he runs hard every time he touches the ball.”
Call has seen his share of great running backs during his time as a player and coach with the Green Wave. Call played with running back Bernard Rambert, who went on to play Clemson, and coached DeAngelo Henderson, a freshman at Coastal Carolina.
Anderson is in that league.
“He definitely has that kind of potential,” Call said. “He’s not as shifty as those guys, but his top-end speed is better than either Bernard or DeAngelo.”
Call said Anderson compares more favorably to former Carolina Panthers running back Stephen Davis, who played at Spartanburg High School and later at Auburn, than either Rambert or Henderson.
“Davon and Stephen have similar running styles and they were both tough,” Call said. “They were physical, but they both have great speed.”
Call would like to see Anderson become more of a threat in the Green Wave’s passing game like Henderson.
“He has gotten significantly better since last year,” Call said. “I’d like to get him in the flat in space so he can utilize his speed.”
Call believes that Anderson is starting think of himself as a football player, rather than a track athlete.
“He’ll do both at the next level,” Call said. “Once we get our offensive line in order, he’s going to put up some big numbers. With that kind of speed, he’s a big time talent.”