Photography: Jason Caldwell

Young Auburn Defensive Lineman, Marlon Davis, Improving for the Football Tigers

Marlon Davidson is off to a strong start for the football Tigers halfway through the regular season.

Marlon Davidson (above) wallops Mississippi State's quarterback.

Auburn, Ala.--It isn’t easy to stand out on the Auburn football team’s defensive front this year, but newcomer Marlon Davidson is giving it the old college try.

On Saturday at Mississippi State the defensive end from Greenville High School contributed to his team’s victory with his first forced fumble of the season. Davidson’s sack of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald knocked the ball loose and it was recovered by senior defensive tackle Montravius Adams.

Davidson finished the game with a season-high five tackles and is playing beyond his years as a true freshman with three tackles for lost yardage, including 2 1/2 sacks.

“He hasn’t hit the wall yet,” Coach Gus Malzahn said. “I think he has improved, as a matter of fact. I think he is similar to Carl’s (Lawson) mindset when he was a freshman. He just has to continue to work and continue to improve. I will be real surprised if he hits the wall.”

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Marlon Davidson has been in on 17 tackles so far this season.

Davidson enrolled at Auburn in January after graduating early from high school. After playing in the Under Armour All-American game, and performing well in that event, he began classes at Auburn and participated in winter workouts.

In spring training he won praise from the coaches and by the end of spring he was running first team on the depth chart, a position he has held on to during preseason practice and through the first half of the regular season.

Davidson noted that he has improved significantly since preseason drills started in early August. “I am a totally different person,” he said. “I couldn’t do any of the things I can do now back then. I was just learning. I?used to get beat up. It is a learning process and a physical process I?had to go through once I got here.”

The freshman pointed out that he is enjoying his role on the Auburn defense, a group he said that is steadily improving this season. 

“To me the key is playing hard--11 hats to the ball,”?he said, “Hit somebody in the mouth and do it day in and day out.”

Davidson and the Tigers, who are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC after defeating Mississippi State 38-14, don’t have a game this week. They will return to action the following Saturday with a home game vs. Arkansas

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