Player Capsule: D.J. Davidson
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 320 pounds
2016 season quick review: Davidson didn't play football last season, taking the year off to gain academic eligibility after playing on a Desert Ridge High School that reached a 5A state title game. He originally signed with Central Florida.
SunDevilSource.com analysis: Arizona State coaches would like to see Davidson lose some weight this summer with a target goal of 295-300 pounds, but for a true freshman he wears his weight quite well, even at 20 or so pounds above an ideal playing weight. Davidson is the type of defensive tackle who has the frame to support the size needed to play the position without having to carry much bad weight around. Being 6-foot-5 certainly helps. It also makes for a longer reach, which is essential to winning the battle for leverage on the interior.
A pure nose tackle, Davidson is not only a big human being, he gets his feet moving well at the snap and advantages that with a powerfully determined approach and good flexibility for his size. He's also not trying to be overly cute, which gets a lot of young defensive tackles in trouble. Davidson is a guy who is very comfortable being a battering ram into the A-gap, remaining active throughout reps and playing with an impressive motor for his size. He's got pretty good scheme versatility for a nose tackle, a player who should be able to handle playing odd front over the ball in addition to the shaded technique ASU has typically used.
Davidson uses the tools he has nicely for his age. He's thick through the torso and thighs, doesn't negate it with an overly narrow base set up or bad foot technique. He runs his feet through engagement, activates his hands, displaces a lot of size and has the ability to reach and finish with violence at the tackle. Those are all very promising signs for his future.
Technically, he's still raw and developing, as would be expected. He'll work on leverage and posture releasing through his hips, getting his hands more consistent and more technically sound, and accessing his strength better. He can get top heavy prematurely, and tends to reach too much to make plays. The tools though? They're present and accounted for.
Projected depth chart status: Don't count out Davidson factoring into the depth chart as a true freshman at the nose tackle position. There is some softness in the two-deep with George Lea and walk-on Jordan Hoyt the primary competition, and neither far enough that they can't be reeled in if Davidson has a great fall camp.