You won’t find Jesus Davalos often on a dance floor to cut a rug.
Already taking college credit classes, he doesn’t cut classes very often either.
And Davalos can be a cut-up, according to Portales football coach Andy Correll. “We have fun. I know the kids poke fun at him sometimes and he fires right back,” the coach said.
But what makes the senior running back special on the football field is his ability to cut back.
With outstanding peripheral vision and a knack for making defenders miss, Davalos is apt to leave would-be tacklers grasping air while he races down the field for a touchdown.
Sometimes, more than one defensive player is throroughly fooled by Davalos during the same play.
“Growing up, I always like seeing people get juked and the emotion that comes with it,” Davalos said. “It’s something I have a passion for; something I love doing.”
Last week, in a 79-36 victory over Roswell, the Rams’ senior picked up 278 yards rushing and added 190 more through six receptions. In all, Davalos scored seven touchdowns against the Coyotes with four of the plays covering more than 45 yards.
“He can make you look foolish. That’s just stuff that’s not coachable,” Correll said.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve had maybe one other guy who could kinda do what he does and that was Jimmy Vargas, who graduated in 1996,” he added. “He was a pretty good back, but I don’t think he had the go-speed that Jesus does.”
Davalos is the youngest of three boys in his family, behind Luis and Fide. Fide Davalos was a standout at Floyd before going on to play at Eastern New Mexico University.
“They’re a little bit of a different style. I think Fide would admit that Jesus is a little bit faster,” said Correll, who added that Davalos still isn’t fully recovered from a case of turf toe.
“The thing about Jesus is that, in the two years since he’s been here, I don’t think anybody’s been able to put a solid lick on him,” Correll said. “That’s amazing, because we’ve played some great teams.”
An integral part of the Rams’ offense as a junior when Portales won the Class 3A state championship, Davalos isn’t just swift and elusive. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, Davalos can be a bulldog while being tackled — able to move a pile forward for a few extra yards.
“They (the Coyotes) kind of took some of the cutbacks away, so he just lowered the shoulder and ran,” Correll said. “Last year, he really didn’t have to do that.”
At Floyd, Jesus Davalos played football through his sophomore season before moving to Portales.
Though he certainly would have thrived in eight-man football with his ability to make people miss in open areas, Davalos said he’s glad for the change to a bigger school.
“I like it. It’s a different game, so it was a transition,” Davalos said. “But with the coaches and everything, it was great. Practices are fun and competition is better. Overall, it’s way better.”