One of Georgia Tech’s top recruits is apologetic about an off-the-field issue that nearly cost him his senior year of high school football and his athletic scholarship with the Yellow Jackets.
Mikell Lands-Davis, a star running back at Alexander High School, was charged with a misdemeanor of marijuana possession of less than one ounce in late August.
Shortly after incident, Lands-Davis had a face-to-face meeting with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson to discuss his future with the Yellow Jackets.
“We did talk; I accepted responsibility, and I apologized for embarrassing Georgia Tech,” Lands-Davis told the AJC on Wednesday. “I told Coach Johnson the truth about everything. I accepted responsibility for what I did wrong.
“Georgia Tech was willing to give me a second chance, and I’m grateful for it. They knew I wasn’t that type of kid. It was just mistakes, and I feel really bad about it.”
Lands-Davis said he also had to win back his high school coaches and teammates after disappointing them. He was suspended for the Alexander’s first three games, among other penalties.
“I got into trouble, and I can’t do anything but take responsibility for it,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was my fault with what happened so I can’t do anything but help my team out in any way.
“My coaches and teammates were understanding enough to let me stay on the team. The only thing I can do is do my best for them. Right now, I’m playing running back still, but I’m playing a lot of defense, too. I’m playing wherever they need me, and whatever is best for the team.”
Back to Georgia Tech: Lands-Davis has attended two home games this season, and he is thrilled with the undefeated start.
“It’s great to be 5-0,” he said. “I’m jacked up about it. I’ve been keeping in touch with the coaches every week. I will call them twice a week. It’s so exciting, and our recruiting class is getting better because of it. It’s working out good.”
Lands-Davis said he has been overwhelmed by the public display of support from Georgia Tech fans throughout his legal problem.
“They are the best,” he said. “The Georgia Tech fans have been really supportive throughout this whole thing. I’ve read some comments on Facebook and message boards. They’re still rooting for me, and they still want the best for me. It just seems like the Georgia Tech community is for me, and that means so much. They are excited about the future, and so am I.”
Lands-Davis is a 3-star and rated as the second-highest member of Georgia Tech’s 2015 class. He’s rated as the state’s No. 51 overall prospect by Rivals. He is still being heavily pursued by North Carolina and N.C. State, and recently got a phone call from Michigan. He’s appreciative of the attention but he said he’s sticking with his plans to sign with Georgia Tech in February.
“My heart is at Georgia Tech,” he said. “I appreciate them for being with me in the tough times. I know I’m going there for a fact. It’s a solid commit. Even through the tough times, they were still there for me. They could’ve dropped me. That really meant something to me.”
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