The decision wasn’t gut-wrenching, or even slightly difficult.
Anthony Davis’ dream, from the time he was a young boy, was to play in the NFL, and Tuesday he took a big step toward fulfilling it.
During a lunchtime press conference at the Hale Center, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound left tackle announced he was forgoing his senior season at Rutgers to enter the 2010 NFL draft. The decision, which was reported on ScarletReport.com after the St. Petersburg Bowl win, was widely anticipated.
“When I first got to Rutgers, I knew I could do it in three years,’’ Davis said. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy. It’s something I always wanted to do, and I know I am ready for it.’’
Davis is projected as a first-round pick in April’s draft, and will begin working out immediately. He cannot sign with an agent until Jan. 15.
“From everybody I talked to, (and) I’ve been there, this guy’s a first-round draft pick,’’ Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “He’ll do very well. He loves the game of football. That is the No. 1 thing. He’s a football player. He loves it, and there’s not enough of them in that league that truly love the game.’’
It is the third time in three years Rutgers is losing a player early to the NFL draft. In the last two years, running back Ray Rice and receiver Kenny Britt left early.
“Ray and Kenny struggled more with it,’’ Schiano said. “(Davis) knew what was right for him.’’
Rice was taken in the second round by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 draft. Britt became the first Rutgers player selected in the first round of the draft in 2009 when he went 30th overall to the Tennessee Titans.
Davis, who called blocking for Rice in 2007 one of the highlights of his career, has known for a while this would be his last season.
“It's been in my heart for a while," Davis said. "It's always been in the back of my head. And now that the opportunity is here, I sat down with coach and my parents and we decided that this is the best move for me."
Not only is Davis, who was named a second-team Walter Camp all-American, highly talented, but he possesses tremendous room for growth.
He turned 20 in October.
“He’s such a young guy,’’ Schiano said. “They’re getting a guy that has a lot of life left in him. He’s been healthy in his whole career. I think he’s a really attractive pick. He’s so athletic. He’s athletic for anybody, forget big or small. Then, take the fact he’s 320 pounds.’’