by Duane Cochran for FightingFalcons.com
Like an onion, there's a lot of layers to Fairmont State University senior football player Scott Davidson.
There's Scott Davidson the double major in communications and graphic technology who is a member of the Dean's List.
There's Scott Davidson the two-month intern at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Fairmont who has been No. 1 in home city sales in each of the two months he's been there.
There's Scott Davidson the student of the game, master technician and a leader of the FSU secondary from his cornerback position.
And there's Scott Davidson the "Phantom," a self-proclaimed moniker he gave himself in high school to best describe his on-field persona.
“The guy is sneaky good,” said FSU receiver Chris St. Hilaire. “He's very good at disguising what he's going to do. You may think he's going to do one thing and he'll do the complete opposite. He's also great at reading receivers and routes. He'll recognize if a receiver is going to break down and cut off the route or if he's going to make a move and go deep.
“He's a very intelligent player who has good feet and his technique is the best. If I'm running an out he's right on my hip. If I run a comeback he's right behind me. If I go deep he's still right on my hip. The guy is always where he's supposed to be. I think he's one of the best corners in our league.”
Since he first arrived on Fairmont State's campus three years ago Davidson, who did not redshirt out of Columbus, Ohio's Eastmoor Academy, has taken a very mature and business-like approach to the way he does pretty much everything in his life.
“My dad wasn't in my life growing up,” he said. “My mother, Deborah, raised my sister Donna and I. She's the strongest person I know. She can handle pretty much anything. I think I've seen her cry maybe once in my life. I draw a lot of my strength as a person from her. I respect her so much and know I can always turn to her if I need anything.
“I think because of my situation I had to mature a lot faster than maybe most males do. The closest thing I had to a father figure growing up was one of my high school coaches, James Miranda, who is a great guy that I still talk to from time to time. He had a real positive influence on me.”
Once he was in Fairmont's camp in the fall of 2009, it didn't take the Falcon coaches long to recognize Davidson's potential.
“The one thing I know for certain about Scotty Davidson is from the first day he arrived here at Fairmont he's always separated himself both on and off the field as a leader and as a mature adult,” said FSU defensive coordinator Shahram Shafii. “He's always aspired to be great. Athletically there's times he may not have the same skill set as people who line up beside him or across from him, but technique-wise he's phenomenal. He's one of the hardest workers we have.
“You tell me he had success working at Enterprise, well, it wouldn't surprise me at the end of the day if he owned Enterprise," Shafii continued. "That's the type of kid he is. I love him. He's great at teaching and working with our young guys and having him on the field makes me, as a coach, a lot more comfortable.”
Davidson heads into his senior season with 60 total tackles, 43 of which are solo stops. He also has three career interceptions and eight pass breakups.
“I can hardly believe it's my senior season already,” said Davidson. “I'm looking for good things from both myself and our team this year.
“I've had a great three years here and am looking forward to a fourth. I'm going to miss a lot of things about here – my teammates and the coaching staff. I've learned so much. The coaches have been great. They make you laugh and they make you cry, but at the end of the day they teach you something about football and life and I've tried to learn and apply as much of what I've been taught as possible.”
And as for his "Phantom" persona?
“In life you have to have a couple of different personas,” said Davidson with a laugh. “You can't just be you all of the time. Off the field I'm definitely Scott Davidson. I'm a fun guy who is easy to get along with. On the field I'm more business-like. When you play this game you've got to have a certain confidence or swagger. Hence the phantom.
“At first in high school the guys used to call me Master Lock. That was nice but I couldn't get anywhere with that. I tried to play it in my head and it just went no where. We had this thing in high school called super hero day and I told everyone I was going to come as the Phantom. They were like 'What, no way.' I dressed up in all black tights with black shoes, a cape and a mask and called myself the Phantom. From that point on it stuck and I ran with it. I tried to do different things on the field which would make me seem like a phantom. I remember quarterbacks telling me a lot that it seemed like I came out of no where. I liked that.”
Davidson will graduate in May with two degrees from FSU. In the future he says he wouldn't mind parlaying his internship at Enterprise into a full-time position.
“Hopefully after I graduate and pass my skills and grills test with Enterprise they'll hire me as a full-time management assistant,” said Davidson. “After that I can pretty much go wherever there's an opening.
“I kind of have a knack for public relations, marketing, sales and things like that. In sales you have to have a strategy. It's just like football. Every game isn't the same and every customer isn't the same. I like it there (at Enterprise) because it's not a scam. Everything is real, down to earth and legit. You explain everything up front and you don't have to worry about people coming back and saying I didn't know this or that.
“I'm ready for life and ready to get things started. I've pretty much had my life planned out since I was about 15. I know where I want to be and what steps I have to take to get there.”