If you've ever been on the sidelines at an Arkansas State football practice, or sat close enough during a game to hear what's going on on the sidelines, you know that senior linebacker DeMario Davis is a leader.
But you don't even have to be that close to know that he's a difference maker -- you just have to watch him knock the snot out of guys like ULL quarterback Blaine Gautier.
Davis is a hard-hitting, smack-talking, hate him at practice but love him on Saturdays kind of player. And as soon as you ask him about his success, he's the first to give the credit elsewhere.
"I've gotta give the honor to God because he's doing something on this team that's much bigger than me or anybody on this team," Davis said. "God is establishing his kingdom on this team, and he isn't just trying to ignite this team, he's trying to ignite this community and this city and breathe life into this city, and he's doing it through this team."
Davis recorded seven total tackles in Arkansas State's victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, but his biggest play of the game was an interception in the fourth quarter that brought momentum back to the Red Wolves as they trailed by a point.
"I felt like it was a big play. Certainly they had some momentum at that point, so that was a huge play and it couldn't have happened to a finer young man," said head coach Hugh Freeze.
Davis credited the entire defensive unit for the success they had against Lafayette. He said he's priveleged to play with a great defense.
"We've got a great defensive line, they're gonna get pressure on the quarterback,
Davis said. "And when they get to the quarterback, they don't just swing him down they hit him and they hit him hard. And so the quarterbacks get shaken up, and you've seen that all season."
Having seen this program through some tough years, the senior said the success of this year has been "a long time coming."
"This opportunity is great especially for the seniors who have been in it for the long haul. We're not just doing it for us, we're doing it for this city and for all the players that came before us. It's just about establishing a tradition," Davis said.
Davis now has 60 total tackles on the season, in addition to recording his first interception of the year. More importantly to him, though, is another "W" on the record -- something he said is bigger than himself.
"I'm just an instrument of God, he's using me because he's trying to do something bigger than me," Davis said. "Way bigger than me"