MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Growing up in Jackson, Ohio, Treylan Davis lived closer to the West Virginia border than any of Ohio’s notable college towns like Athens, Cincinnati, or Columbus.
Davis’ grandfather worked in coal mines, and when it was time to retire, he hung up his headlamp at a mine in Parkersburg.
He may hail from the Buckeye State, but the third-year tight end has Mountaineer blood coursing through his veins.
“I’ve always kind of grown-up rooting for West Virginia,” Davis said. “You know there were the Buckeyes, and my dad was with the Bobcats, so those were the Ohio teams, but you know, West Virginia is a team that it’s hard not to root for. I love what their fan base stands on and the traditions here.”
Davis redshirted as a true freshman in 2021, though he appeared in the maximum of four games. He played in all 12 games last year, recording the first five catches of his collegiate career, as a backup tight end.
His role in the offense is expected to expand this fall. But in a way, his time in Morgantown has already exceeded his expectations.
Defensive back Anthony Wilson spoke about his affinity for Karl Joseph, and what it means to sit in the same meeting room and put on the same jersey as the former Mountaineer safety.
Davis, too, has an appreciation for some of West Virginia’s 21st-century legends, and the grounds they walked on.
“I grew up playing with Tavon Austin and those guys on NCAA [football video games]. You know, watching all of their highlights on YouTube,” added Davis. “And then you get here and play in front of the same crowd that those guys did, it’s hard to believe really. It’s an experience that, when you’re running out of that tunnel, and you see all that blue and gold, and everybody’s there to watch a football game, it’s really a special feeling.”
As the son of an offensive lineman, Davis’ father believed Treylan was destined to follow in his footsteps, positionally. However, a more slender frame translated to the younger Davis moving over a position or two to tight end. At Jackson High, Davis blossomed into a high school All-American candidate, a three-star recruit, and a top-40 tight end in the country.
Eric Davis, Treylan’s father, was an offensive lineman at Ohio University. It appeared that Treylan would be staying in his home state to play college ball, but as a tight end. After initially committing to Cincinnati, Davis de-committed in April 2020, which reopened his status as a high school prospect.
WVU ramped up its recruiting efforts on the then-available tight end. A month later, Davis announced he was heading to Morgantown, picking WVU over Arkansas and others. His grandfather’s background played a part in Davis’ decision-making process.
“That has a big tie into it. I’m a big fan of the blue-collar crowd, and the traditions of this program,” said Davis.
Due to COVID-19 guidelines, Davis was not allowed to take an in-person official visit to WVU. Living in Ohio, he had completed at least one in-person visit to Cincinnati. Instead, he met with the Mountaineers virtually.
Those phone calls set the table for Davis to land with the school he belonged.
“I chose to turn my head and come here just due to the way this coaching staff and the fan base here made me feel,” Davis said. “I was welcomed here from the second I was on the phone the first time with them. At that time it was coach Travis Trickett, and he did an awesome job in the recruiting process. He kept me up to date on everything and I fell in love with this place.”