The decision to go to different colleges wasn’t a fun one to make for Derius Davis and Derek Turner.
But it wasn’t particularly difficult.
The two brothers were born a year apart (Turner took their father's surname; Davis took their mother's), and when they first started getting scholarship offers from college football programs, they sat down and promised each other they would do what was best for themselves — even if that meant splitting up.
On Wednesday morning, they kept that promise.
Surrounded by their family and West Feliciana coaches and teammates, Davis and Turner signed their letters of intent — Davis to TCU and Turner to Louisiana Tech.
“It was a tough decision. I think my family wanted us to stay together,” Turner said. “Me and him growing up together, we were always together. But I had to decide for my own well being to go to La Tech.”
Both brothers said they aren’t nervous about being separated for the next chapter of their lives. They discussed it well they made their commitments.
Turner and Davis could have stayed together had they wanted to. Both were three-star recruits, and both had offers from TCU and Louisiana Tech, among others.
Ultimately, they decided the best choice was to go their separate ways for the next four years.
“We talked about (staying together), but we wanted to decide what was best for us,” Davis said. “It came down to the decision where he picked La Tech and I picked TCU.”
Only four hours apart down Interstate 20, Turner and Davis say they'll stay in contact. They won't be as close as they’re accustomed to being, obviously, but not permanently apart.
The greatest adjustment will be for their parents back home in St. Francisville.
Derek Turner Sr. knows it will be next to impossible to see both his sons play every college football Saturday with them at different schools, but he and the family have been aware of this situation for some time.
With extended family on both sides, he’s confident they can make it work.
“We weighed all those options throughout the recruiting process,” Turner Sr. said. “We’re real supportive of each other, and we all decided we had to go where we best fit for our education and our career.”
Davis and Turner were two of nine West Feliciana athletes who signed Wednesday, including eight from the football team.
The brothers played both ways in high school, but West Feliciana coach Robb Odom said they’re expected to stay on one side of the ball in college.
Davis, a wide receiver and cornerback for the Saints, will play on offense at TCU. Derek will leave behind the quarterback position to stay in the defensive backfield.
“They’re leaders. No doubt about it," Odom said. "Just two great young men. They take care of their business on and off the field, and they’ve been a pleasure to be around for four years. Everybody sees what they do on the field, but not very much gets talked about what they do off the field.”