Don't doubt Big Baby's football skills

Think Glen Davis' dream of playing in the NFL is crazy? There was a time when it might not have seemed so outlandish.

Jill White, the athletic director at University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge, La., recalled watching the Boston Celtics forward dominate the gridiron during his early years of high school.

"I'm going to tell you, Glen was a beast," White said. "He could do anything he wanted on the field. I can remember one game, he had people hanging all over him, maybe four different guys trying to take him down and he was just dragging them all along."

Davis, who starred at defensive end and running back, led the Cubs in rushing his junior year, but did not return his senior season in fear of injury that could have deterred his basketball career. He told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette last year, "[My teammates] were mad at me, but I didn't care."

As White recalled, Davis was so good, it might have made him more susceptible to injury.

"The reason he quit football might have been because he was so difficult to tackle," White said. "He was taking shots near his knees that would be terribly concerning. And Glen didn't have quite the svelte figure he has now. He was a large fella, rather lumbering."

In the past, Comcast SportsNet, the official TV home of the Celtics, showed highlights of Davis on the gridiron. Wearing No. 86, Davis starred on both sides of the ball, most notably as a punishing running back who bruised opposing tacklers by lowering his shoulder as defenders approached. Even more impressive might have been his spin moves -- something that's certainly carried over to the basketball court.

White said Davis excelled enough on the gridiron that then-LSU football coach Nick Saban tried to lure him to the school for football. Davis chose instead to play basketball for the Tigers, and led LSU to a Final Four appearance.

"Saban was in here and tried to talk Glen into coming out to play football, told him all the positives of the game and what he could do at the next level in the NFL," White said. "But Glen was determined, even as a sophomore or junior in high school, that he was going to make it to the NBA."

If the NFL isn't obtainable now, Davis always could set another lofty goal: London 2012. He also starred in the shot put for the University High track team.