Record-shattering running back Malik Davis ’17 was named the 2016 Guy Toph Award winner on Thursday (Jan. 19) at a ceremony in downtown Tampa.
The Toph Award, considered the Heisman Trophy of Hillsborough County football and most prestigious athletic award in the county, is given to the county’s most outstanding football player. Davis was presented the award with family and school administrators, including Jesuit football coach Matt Thompson (pictured with Davis on the homepage), at his side. View a photo slideshow below of the ceremony.
The award was founded in 1939 and is believed to be the oldest high school football award in America. The award also considers academic achievement in its selection, and Davis made the Honor Roll during the fall semester and earned First Honors in his Economics class as the top student in that class this fall.
Davis is the fourth Jesuit student to earn the award, joining Gary Godsey '99 in 1998, Al Lopez III '82 in 1981, and Skipper Peek '76 in 1975. Peek was the first private school student to win the award, and only seven of the 78 winners have come from private schools. Recent winners of the award include Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton High), the 2016 1st round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Davis arguably had the greatest season and football career in county history, and compiled one of the best rushing careers in state history. This fall, he rushed for 2,469 yards on 214 carries (11.5 avg.), with 33 touchdowns, breaking his single-season Jesuit records from 2015 of 2,337 rushing yards and 28 TDs. The 33 TDs are a single-season county record, and the rushing yards is second best in county history (Lydell Ross had 2,698 for Gaither in 2000).
Davis completed his Jesuit career with county records of 7,029 rushing yards and 83 rushing touchdowns (84 total TDs). The rushing yards ranks Davis 11th in state history, and he is No. 1 in county history by a wide margin of nearly 1,300 yards over second place Ray Ray McCloud of Sickles, who plays for national champion Clemson. Davis’ career total TDs and rushing TDs also are best in county history, with the rushing mark of 83 TDs easily surpassing second-place Kalvin Bailey of Armwood (67). Both McCloud and Bailey are former Toph Award winners
Davis rushed for 323 yards and 2 TDs in the 34-14 win at Tampa Catholic this fall, giving him 1,000 career rushing yards against TC in his 4-year career, including a career-high 357-yard effort in 2015. In the past two years, Davis led Jesuit to a 25-2 record.
Davis verbally committed to the University of Florida in October, and he will sign with the Gators on Feb. 1.
View a photo slideshow below of the Guy Toph Award ceremony:
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