While most students tend to go home on weekends or simply relax, Red Hawks senior quarterback Ryan Davies is getting ready to dominate on the football field, always making sure each day of hard work at practice counts.
Currently in his third year with the Red Hawks, Davies is a senior Business major with a concentration in Marketing and is also the starting quarterback for the Montclair State football team.
When asked why he continues to play, Davies credits several factors. “I think it’s just the general love for the game,” said Davies. “Also, my dad is a football coach. Growing up, I went to his games and he was my coach in high school, so I’m always talking to him. It’s kind of like a family thing [and] my brother plays, too. It’s been in my blood, basically, so [that] is a big part of [why I continue to play.]”
Davies said that one of the best memories of his football career was winning the NJAC Championship last year, tying with Rowan University and Morrisville State College for the conference title.
Davies also mentioned how grateful he feels whenever he puts on his Red Hawks jersey. “It’s a great experience,” he said. “You have to kind of feel thankful and lucky you get to it [because] not a lot of guys get to do it, especially as a senior. You can look back and appreciate it more because I only have a few games left. It means a lot. I’ve really cherished the last season and last few games.”
On Oct. 4, at The College of New Jersey, Davies completed 22 of 38 passes, collected 177 passing yards and completed two touchdown passes. However, his best game of the season came on Oct. 26 against Morrisville State when Davies recorded a season-high of 224 yards and two touchdown passes.
“Ryan is a dedicated student and athlete,” Holly Gera, Athletic Director at Montclair State, said. “He works hard both on and off the field. He has received numerous all academic awards for his excellence in the classroom. He is also a student of the game, always wanting to improve his skills and learn more. As a quarterback, he is in a leadership position and is called upon to perform well under pressure. Ryan handles himself with pride and sportsmanship and is a great representative of our athletic department and our university.”
His leadership and performance throughout each season with the Red Hawks has earned him praise among his teammates as well. “It’s been pretty cool because we came in at the same time and we played our first game together our sophomore year,” said senior co-captain Denzel Nieves. “On defense and on offense, we see every guy grow. We’re the leaders of the team. He’s a three-year starter [and] I’m a two-year starter. It’s been cool playing with him.”
In the 2014 season, Davies finished sixth in the NJAC total offense with 142.7 yards per game, ranking fourth in passing yards with 1,333 total yards and 148.1 yards per game.
“As a head coach, I see the development with [Davies] mentally and physically,” said Rick Giancola. “Mentally, he has been able to absorb our system. He’s like another coach for us, he has everything down that we expect him to know. We give him that leeway to make checks on the field so that, if we call a play [and] the opponents line up in a situation where that play cannot be very good, he’s smart enough to know.”
“We’ve coached him to know this − what those alternative checks will be − to get us from a bad play to a good play. If need be, he could almost call the whole game on the field,” Giancola said.
Reflecting on his past career, Davies offers words of advice to prospective high school students who are contemplating the idea of playing football in college. “If they really like football, I say give it a shot,” he said. “I know a lot of kids who played in high school that didn’t play in college and most of them regret it. If you get to college and you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can always stop. But, I think you should definitely give it a chance because it’s a very good experience and makes [your overall] college experience much better.”