Davis Ready To Bounce Back As a Senior

Auburn senior running back Tristan Davis talks about bouncing back from his injury-plagued 2007 season.

Auburn, Ala.--The last 12 months have been trying times for Auburn senior running back Tristan Davis. Bothered by injuries that have kept him off the football field for basically the entire 2007 season, Davis is back and ready to give it one last shot for the Tigers.

Through three days of practices he looks to be close to his old self and notes he's happy with how things have gone early in preseason camp.

"I think it's real great," Davis says. "We've done some tweaking to my tape job and all that and just make sure I don't get stepped on. Everything else will take care of itself. I can still run. I was burning rubber out there. I felt pretty good."

With Brad Lester and Ben Tate listed as co-starters for the Tigers, Davis' role may be exclusively as a kickoff return man and a change-up back for an Auburn offense that is looking for playmakers. With his speed Davis could be just that guy provided he can continue to show his new and improved hands out of the backfield.

"I have worked on it a lot," Davis says. "I have really learned how to relax instead of tensing up when the ball gets to me. I have improved that part of my game and that just makes me a more dangerous player."

With only five seniors (Jason Bosley, Tyronne Green, Rod Smith, Robert Dunn and James Swinton) expected to see any action on offense outside of the running back position, Davis says this year is one where he's looking for the group to become not only productive on the field, but also off it as leaders of the team.

"I think it's real unique because all three of us are some of the more experienced guys on the team," Davis notes. "Me and Brad are two fifth-year seniors. Ben has been here three years and has played all three. I think it's real special that we have three leaders at running back.

"Once you're one of the older guys much more is expected from you," Davis adds. "They expect you to lead by example and not only a vocal leader. A lot of times it's hard when that monkey is on your back, but you're that older guy they're going to look to during the game to make a big play. You just have to do it out there in practice because you practice like you play."

As the Tigers prepare to put on full pads beginning with Wednesday's practice, Davis says he's got several goals in mind as the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Aug. 30 draws closer. First and foremost is avoiding another injury, but he says he also wants to show he can be an every down back if needed.

"My goal first of all is to stay healthy," Davis says. "That's always going to be my number one goal. I just want to impress the coaches with my talent, not only just thinking I can run the ball with speed on the outside, but I can hit the hole and carry the ball well and still catch it out of the backfield."


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