The fourth annual Cody Davis Football Camp earned a five-star rating from one expert in attendance — a 12-year-old Pee Wee Football League player.
Cole Damron, who attends Gilbert Intermediate School, said Saturday’s event was his second experience with the camp. It’s conducted by Davis, who plays safety for the Los Angeles Rams and was a three-year starter for the Stephenville Yellow Jackets.
“It was so fun. I enjoy it every year,” Damron said. “I recommend it to all the kids. Cody is my favorite player. I’ve loved him since he got drafted. He’s friends with my family.”
Rain forced the one-day camp indoors at Stephenville High School, and only 98 of the 186 student-athletes who pre-registered showed up.
But that didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of those who did participate.
“It’s super fun,” said 11-year-old Gilbert Elementary student Hyson Foreman, who was at the camp for a third time. “It’s always fun coming out to meet Cody Davis and seeing all the kids work so hard — and all the drills. I always learn something off of them.”
Davis, 28, helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 33-5 record as a starter in the defensive secondary. After his senior season in 2009, Davis was voted Defensive Most Valuable player in District 8-4A, and was named second-team all-state by the Associated Press. He was a first-team all-state performer his junior year.
Davis was undrafted in 2013 coming out of Texas Tech University, where he was a two-time second-team all-Big 12 defensive back.
Football’s recent history in Stephenville (five state championships from 1992 through 2012, plus numerous deep playoff runs) keeps the excitement level high at each of the camps, which Davis began in 2014.
“I think you can’t live in Stephenville and not get affected by the football culture,” Davis said, noting that he was influenced by that local football success when he was growing up. “It was definitely a big impact, with the winning standards and character on and off the field. The reason I wanted to make it to this level was to give back to the community and be a good role model.”
Foreman said he hopes to play wide receiver — and like Davis, safety — when he gets to the high school level.
He noted that Davis included advice to the camp participants on keeping their attitude straight, and explained how a player’s attitude can make any day good or bad.
One of the primary sponsors of the camp if the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Davis said he takes time to add a little guidance on character and morals for the kids.
“It’s a blast to get out here with the kids,” Davis said. “I like working with the younger kids. It’s so fun, and trying to build that foundation is so important. Each camp, we make it a priority. We give them wisdom. We call if ‘five minutes of wisdom.’ “
Davis said he will be entering the final year of his second contract as a free safety with the Rams in the fall. It’s definitely a business, but he said he’s still enjoying the game.
“It’s super hard and super fun, all at the same time,” Davis said. “You’ve got to constantly work to stay in the NFL.”
Davis also said he hopes to continue having the local football camp as long as he’s playing in the NFL.
He was assisted at the camp by multiple volunteers that included friends and family members, plus Stephenville assistant coaches Joe Carter, Nolan Vosberg and Jesse Fanning, along with former Stephenville and Glen Rose coach Tommy Dunn. Dunn retired after the 2015 season when he was head coach at Glen Rose, but had been one of Davis’s coaches when he was an SHS assistant.