More Confident Davis Takes On Leadership Role

Senior cornerback Chris Davis is expected to be a key performer for the Tigers as Auburn looks to bounce back after a disappointing 2012 football season.

Auburn, Ala.--Tackling one of his biggest fears of public speaking just before Auburn opened preseason practice as he was one of the Tigers' representatives at SEC Media Days, senior cornerback Chris Davis is quickly becoming comfortable talking with the press as he heads into his final year on the Plains.

If he's able to take on his next job as well as he's handled his first, then it should be good news for Auburn's defensive fortunes in the 2013 season.

As one of the most experienced players on defense and a football junkie who understands defensive schemes and technique, Davis has taken on a bigger leadership role for the Tigers. That is something that started in the spring and has carried over into the summer and now into the preseason.

Wanting to become a more vocal player, Davis said he watched one of his mentors last season to get some tips about taking on the role.

"It has been a good transition," Davis said. "After watching T-Bell (T'Sharvan Bell) lead the team last year I sat back and learned a lot from him. He is a very vocal leader and leads by example at the same time. I think it has been a very good thing for me.

"I learned just to lead by example and get the team riled up," he added. "Whoever doesn't feel like practicing I just try bringing their spirit up, just bring energy to the room."

Chris Davis is shown at SEC Media Days in July.

The leadership role is important as Davis and fellow first-team corner Jonathon Mincy lead the way at the position with senior Ryan White and sophomore Jonathan Jones pushing to get into the rotation. With Josh Holsey currently also working at safety that means Kamryn Melton makes the fifth full-time corner. Because of that lack of depth Davis said they're trying to get everyone up to speed and so far Melton has done some good things as he gets adjusted to college football.

Even though he doesn't have the size the Auburn staff is looking for at safety, Holsey's move hasn't hurt his chances to get on the field as he earned a first-team spot after just a few practices in the spring. Davis said the talented sophomore seems to be a natural at both positions and because of that, and his unselfish attitude, it makes the defense stronger with him back there.

Teaming up with fellow former cornerback Jermaine Whitehead at safety, Holsey makes four players who were recruited to play cornerback that could be lining up in Auburn's first-team secondary. Davis said that's a huge positive moving forward because of their ability and also their understanding of defense.

"That will be good because they played corner before and they know what to expect," he pointed out. "They know what the corner is doing on any given play. For them having experience playing corner they will know what to expect like what routes and all that. It will be good for the corners with them helping out at safety."

Davis and the Tigers began practice on Friday and are tentatively scheduled to have their first scrimmage on Wednesday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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