FORSYTH -- The southern part of Georgia has been kind to Nick Davis and the Mary Persons Bulldogs in recent months.
In November, Mary Persons made the trip to perennial playoff contender Cairo and clinched its first quarterfinal appearance in more than a decade with a dramatic 3-0 overtime win.
Another community along U.S. 84 will become Davis home this fall. Davis signed Wednesday with Valdosta State, the reigning NCAA Division II champion.
Nick has been down in that part of the state before, and it was an enjoyable trip, Mary Persons head coach Brian Nelson said. I think hes going to have a lot more enjoyable moments down that way in the coming years.
For the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Davis, signing day served as the capstone to a building process that included not just him and the abilities he had to develop at the high school level, but that of his team, as well.
In addition to being the first Mary Persons team since 1998 to reach the GHSA quarterfinals, the 10 wins last fall marked the first time since 1998 that the Bulldogs reached the 10-win mark.
It took learning how to win to get us that far, said Davis, who had some teammates join him in the high schools library for the signing ceremony. Couldnt have done it without these boys. These boys helped me where Im at now.
Davis signed with Valdosta State after considering other offers, including one from Division I FCS program Western Carolina. Valdosta State started to heavily recruit Davis within the past month, leading to Davis decision.
Mary Persons and Valdosta State run similar offenses. Davis said Valdosta State wants to use him in a multipurpose role, including work as a special teams returner.
They said they want me to be more of an explosion guy, Davis said. They put me in the game when they need a big play. They have some packages for me, use me on punt return and kick return.
They run more of a spread offense. Most of their plays are out of the shotgun. ... We run basically the same thing, but we run more of a two-back set and a one-back set, more of a pro-style.