Byron High School’s Dustin Davis takes the line in the Bears’ opening game against Triton. Photo by Keith Garvens
By David Richards
Dustin Davis, a junior lineman on the Byron High School football team, has nearly the same size feet as his mom's and dad's combined.
At size 21, well surpassing his dad's 13 and his mom's nine, he may very well have the biggest feet of any football player in the state, from junior high, to high school and on into the pros.
"The first thing anybody says when they see them is 'Holy and then a word I can't use.' " Davis said.
The Byron High student takes his feet in stride, because they've always been larger than normal.
As a newborn, his mom said, Davis couldn't wear newborn shoes.
By his freshman year, he was already a 19.
"He's always had big hands and big feet, but I'd never dreamed they'd get this big," said Monica Davis, Dustin's mom.
As far as high school linemen go, Davis isn't enormously big.
At roughly 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he isn't even the biggest guy on Byron's football team.
But both Davis and his coach say his feet help him keep a solid base when on that line.
"It also helps me from a slip; I have a big enough surface that I don't lose my footing."
Buying shoes that big can pose a challenge.
His family, coaches and friends keep an eye out whenever they can.
Monica Davis said tennis shoes can be ordered on line or through Rogan's in Rochester, but football cleats have been a challenge.
Monica Davis wrote to the Vikings for help, and they sent a pair of turf cleats and a pair of regular cleats, and Byron coach John Austinson, who has strong ties through his work in youth programs, received two more pair, one each from the University of Wisconsin and the New York Giants. In addition, the Texans sent the coach a used pair.
In 22 years of coaching, Austinson said he really hasn't seen anything close to a size 21.
"I once saw a 17, and I thought those were big," He said.
And Davis may not be done growing yet, Austinson added.
With his solid frame and his size 21 shoes, Davis has found success both on and off the field.
Austinson called him a "very good lineman who is getting better and better," and last year Davis finished the school year with 3.95 grade-point average, which just may help him land a spot at his dream school.
"Auburn University," Davis said.
Davis' family owns a hobby farm of horses and goes wagon training in Alabama, and Davis said he's simply grown to love the Auburn.
"I've just always wanted to go there," he said.
Davis has a built himself a strong foundation to help him achieve that goal, size 21 or not.