Alabama rule leads 'too old' LB to Carver

Transfers are common in Georgia high school football, but the case of star linebacker Michael Davis, who is coming to Carver of Columbus, is more interesting than most.

Davis is moving because he's too old to play in Alabama, according to this story in the Dempolis (Ala.) Times.

Davis, a linebacker who made honorable mention all-state in Alabama last season, helped lead Demopolis High to a state title. Davis made 10 tackles in the 27-14 victory over Russellville in the Class 5A final. He will turn 19 on July 18.

In Alabama, players who turn 19 before Aug. 1 are ineligible for the coming football season. In Georgia, players may turn 19 as early as May 1.

It's not uncommon for Georgia schools to have players who would be too old to compete in Alabama. Former ECI star Washaun Ealey was one. He turned 19 on June 1, 2008, before his senior season and went on to set Georgia's record for career touchdowns.

The GHSA's rule has been criticized, perhaps more by fans than school administrators, but one rationale is that it gives an outstanding senior athlete a final season to help earn a college scholarship that might have eluded him if he were ineligible.

Davis failed the fifth grade for missing too many classes during a year in which his mother died, and his father has never been a part of his life, according the Demopolis newspaper.

Davis lives with his older sister, who is choosing to move to Columbus with her five children for the benefit of her younger brother.

"It is a tough decision because I have five other kids," the sister told the newspaper. "To take them from Demopolis to Georgia is a tough thing to do. But it is the right thing to do. Education is the best thing for [Michael]. That is why I want him to succeed."