Introducing the 2005 Class: Dexter Davis

Excelling at another sport aside from football, is a trait that is becoming more and more common among today's pigskin prospects. However, excelling in two other sports is quite rare. Defensive end Dexter Davis is one of those unique athletes, and he gives new meaning to the word versatility.

The Thunderbird (Phoenix, Ariz.) standout has an athletic resume that many other incoming freshmen can only dream of. On the gridiron, he won the Curley Culp Award, given to the state's best defensive lineman. In wrestling, he was again the state's 4A champion in the 215 pound class, after capturing the championship as a junior. Finally, he was crowned 4A State champion in the Discus. All this, while serving as the captain of all three teams. Looking at his feats in all three events, makes one wonder which of the three had the biggest influence on the other two sports?

"Wrestling had the biggest influence out of all the three sports," said the 6-2 238 Dexter Davis. My wrestling coach was real hard on us, and that helped me gain the work ethic I have today and it has helped my football skills."

The collective effect of all three events not only shaped his body, but also his mind. "It takes a lot of focus to do three different sports, and I think that carries over to the classroom," he remarked. "It was sometimes a little hectic having little free time, but I always found time to chill out with my friends." Sporting a 3.5 GPA, suffice to say that Davis can effectively balance his academics with his extra curricular activities.

An adverse mental effect that can arise from all these athletic feats, is a false sense of greatness and destructive over-confidence. Nevertheless, for the ASU incoming freshman, it never became an issue. "It wasn't too difficult, because I always viewed it as there's someone out there better than me," Davis stated. "I was never content at where I was and I always wanted to get to the next level. I always wanted to accomplish more."

Being a local star, the Sun Devils naturally started courting the defensive end early in his career. Once they did, they wasted no time in making their intentions known. "They started looking at me my junior year, and I got my offer in May of my junior year," Davis recalled. "When I met (ASU running backs) Coach Nordquist we really hit it off, and got along. When they started recruiting me they had a rough season, so I wasn't sure about the program, but this past season they did very well and that erased any doubts I had about ASU."

While the PrepStar Magazine preseason and postseason all-region selection was making waves between the lines, his off the field exploits were less dramatic. UTEP was second to ASU in offering a scholarship, and surprisingly enough this all-star player didn't attract additional offers during the recruiting process. "I was a little worried that I wasn't getting more offers, but I thought my performance on the football field would speak for itself," Davis commented. "I don't know why my recruiting never picked up, but I'm very happy to be at Arizona State. I'm very excited to be there."

Davis decided to pull the trigger in early November, and the proximity to his stomping grounds was no small factor, despite the existence of the natural pressure that loved ones could apply when watching his every move from the stands. "It was an easy decision for me," he said. "ASU has everything that I wanted. Playing close to home – I always viewed it as a good thing. I enjoy performing at the highest level in front of my friends and family. I know they'll be ups and downs but that's just part of the game. My family and friends understand that. And when the team is doing well, it's a definite bonus to celebrate with them."

In the last couple years ASU and Arizona have been waging a fierce battle to land the state's top recruits. Oddly enough, Davis is one local star that didn't get recruited seriously by U of A. "I did really well in their camp, so I was surprised they didn't recruit me hard," he said. "I'm looking forward to proving them that they made a mistake."

During his senior year, the defensive end collected over 120 tackles and had six quarterback sacks. "I'm explosive, I have various pass rushing techniques, and I like to work hard and be all over the field," he said as he self-assessed his skills. "I need to work on speed, and get stronger."

Speaking of increased strength, the defensive end, who is now up to 238 pounds, has been participating in team's off-season conditioning program for a month and half now. Adjustments were the name of the game early on, but Davis is quickly settling into the routine these days. "The beginning was rough," he admitted. "The first few days – I wasn't really ready for it. I didn't do much conditioning since the end of my season and before I came to ASU. It was an eye-opening experience. I wasn't the fastest or the strongest anymore, and that was way different than high school. But I'm getting in good shape now and I'm ready for camp."

Another way Davis can get into shape, is to revert to one of his other sports where he can find an ally in fellow first year player and wrestling champion Richard Tuitu'u. "I used to see him at all the meets and we would always wish each other luck," said Davis. "Now that we're on the same team, maybe we'll wrestle each other for fun, but he's a lot bigger (315 pounds) than me (laughs)."

Another notable impression that Davis mentioned, was the manner in which the team's veterans have stepped up during the off-season. "The captains have been great leaders so far and are a good foundation for this team," Davis stated. "On the defense line Jordan Hill is the captain. He's at the beginning of the pack when the defensive line runs and he tries to keep everyone motivated. I'm a self-driven guy, but it's always nice that someone is there to pat you on the back."

With only two proven players on the Devils' defensive line, many spots in the rotation are open for grabs, a fact that obviously excites Davis. "I think it definitely gives me a chance to play," he remarked. "I'm gonna work hard and try to get as many looks as I can. Coaches never said anything about me playing or red shirting. I just want to be out there on the field, even if it's just on special teams. I'll do whatever the team needs from me. Hopefully everything will work out for the best."

Humble words from an athlete that has turned into gold every sport that he has touched…

Recruit Profile

Name

Dexter Davis

High School

Thunderbird (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Position

DE

Height

6-2

Weight

238

Date of birth

11/10/86

Birthplace

Greensboro, NC

Nickname

"Five-Duce"

Favorite TV show

"Chappelle's Show"

Favorite singer/band

"Outkast"

Favorite food

"Steak"

Favorite drink

"Pina Colada"

Favorite athlete

" Dwight Freeney"

Favorite pro team

"Dallas Cowboys"

Person you most admire

"My dad. He's a successful person, a good role model, and someone I try to model my life after."

First football memory

"My first varsity game. I was a sophomore. We played at Lake Havasu. That was one of the best experiences I had on the football field, and that's when I decided I wanted to play football for the rest of my life."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I was all-state in three sports in high school."

Why did you choose ASU?

"The potential for excellence."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Hopefully in the NFL. I want to make sure that I get my degree, so if the NFL doesn't work out I can go into another line of business."

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