By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Davin Meggett knows how opponents previously viewed the Surrattsville football team.
"Sorry old Surrattsville," said the son of former NFL player Dave Meggett. "Go down to Clinton, beat up these spoiled little brats. We were known as punks in the past."
Something, though, has changed this season. Surrattsville High, which began fielding a football team in 1960, posted a 9-1 record during the regular season and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in its history. Meggett went from a possible mid-level college prospect to the Washington area's second-leading rusher and accepted a scholarship to play for Maryland.
"I don't think anybody expected me to do anything," Meggett said. "In past years, coaches said that I wouldn't play up to my potential in big games. I knew I would have to have a breakout season to prove to everyone that I am a good player."
This season, his play has removed any doubt. But now the games only get bigger, starting Saturday for Surrattsville, which hosts Digital Harbor of Baltimore in a Maryland 1A South Region semifinal.
Meggett has rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games. The other three games? Meggett found himself with an early seat on the bench as the Hornets outscored those opponents by a combined 137-7.
As for his college prospects, Meggett entered this past summer's recruiting and evaluation periods holding scholarship offers from division I-AA Howard, James Madison and Old Dominion, a school that plans to field a team in 2009 for the first time in nearly 70 years. His father played at division I-AA Towson.
The Terrapins, though, showed mild interest until late in the summer, when they offered Meggett a scholarship. It did not take long for Meggett to tell Coach Ralph Friedgen he wanted to play for Maryland.
"This is a dream. Is this really happening?" Meggett, who grew up a Terrapins fan, remembered thinking. "I'm going to go ahead, commit and live out a fantasy."
The fantasy continued throughout the fall as Surrattsville piled up victory after victory. With quarterback Andre Johnson back after missing last season because of a knee injury and five experienced starters on the offensive line, the Hornets expected to be good.
It probably did not hurt that their star running back had gotten bigger (he is either 5 feet 8 or 5-9, depending on who is measuring, and 210 pounds), stronger (bench-pressing 360 pounds) and faster (running the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds "on grass for Maryland's coaches, their clock, not my clock," Surrattsville Coach Tom Green said).
"That kid is night and day from last year," Green said, noting that one opposing coach yelled as much, in more colorful language, across the field during one game.
Meggett plays down his own work, saying that any improvement is a reflection of the strides the team has made.
"Our team got a bit more confident and as a program we all got better," Meggett said.
Meggett didn't take up football until he was 8. His mother, Vicki Davis, did not want him to play because she considered it too dangerous. Meggett said he talks to his father every few months but that being the son of a former pro player is "not the reason I'm playing."
"This year, [Meggett] grew up and became the man," Forestville Coach Charles Harley said. "I thought he could be good, but I didn't know he could be this good. He surpassed what I thought he would do."