Davis Hoping Move Pays Dividends

Junior Tristan Davis talks about his move back to offense for spring practice.

Auburn, Ala.--Tristan Davis knows all too well about changing positions.

The Auburn junior has gone back and forth between running back and safety several times in his career and this spring he's back on offense for the second time as the Tigers look to be a solid four-deep at tailback. Back on offense for the first time on Tuesday, Davis says he was comfortable with the ball in his hands once again.

"It felt pretty good," Davis says. "We didn't install too much. It was pretty easy. I'm used to running the football. It's going to be a process, but we're only installing one package this week. As the weeks go by I will probably understand it more."

Despite not being an offensive player since the 2005 season, Davis had a chance to see some game action at that time and get a feel for Al Borges' offense. He says that because of his previous work at tailback the move has been made easier this time around.

"It helped out a lot," Davis says. "Because I wasn't there last year my head would be spinning a little bit. The previous knowledge I had made it easier for me to remember everything we did. I picked it back up pretty easy."

Davis says he currently weighs 207 pounds and is looking to maintain his weight around that number.

Davis is one of four backs looking to earn the starting spot that Coach Tommy Tuberville says is vacant at the moment. While Brad Lester is the favorite to win the position and is first on the depth chart at the moment, Davis says having a shot is what it's all about.

"There is a lot of competition," Davis says. "Brad is the starter right now and he's doing pretty good. He has been in the offense longer than anybody besides Carl (Carl Stewart). Carl is a really good fullback for us. Ben Tate is doing real good. He played a good amount last year. Mario Fannin and I are battling for that third spot right now. It's a good competition. I hope I can just compete well and beat them out.

"It amps me up knowing that any given day I could be in front of anybody," he adds. "It also lets me know that if I get there I'm going to have somebody gunning for me. I'm going to have to work hard every day and improve every day."

The part of his game that Davis says he wants to improve is his ability to make defenders miss when he's running the ball. Used to running in a straight line as a kickoff returner, he says people talk about his lack of moves when running the ball and he hopes to silence that this spring.

"I'm looking forward to working my way into a good spot on the depth chart by competing every day," Davis says. "I want to get a little shiftier. Everybody has been questioning that about my ability, but I haven't really had the opportunity but to go straight ahead in my running. I have to prove to everybody that I can shift and make cuts like everybody else can."

Many times over the past few seasons fans have gone back and forth between which position they think Davis likes the best, running back or safety. Davis says that is a question he has always answered one way, but now he feels like he can tell the truth once and for all. He says that despite what he's always said offense is where his heart has always been.

"I hate to go against my dad but I would say yes," Davis says. "My dad thinks it has always been defense, but I like running the ball. I like having the ball in my hands. I think I'm exciting to watch with the ball and that's why I'm back on offense."

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