Davis Talks '08 Draft, Injuries, Last Season

CLEMSON - CUTigers.com sat down with James Davis Wednesday afternoon to talk about what he's thinking in regards to next year's draft, his shoulder injury last season and much more!

James it's been a while since we talked to you last, how about starting off by talking about your offseason and the first six practices of spring ball.
Davis: It's going good so far. I've been getting adjusted to Coach Powell. He's a real good coach so I'm absorbing everything I can learn from him. I'm still in the learning process right now you could say.

Coach Bowden has mentioned several times this spring that you've taken more of a leadership role with this team now. Is that something that is important for you to try to establish this year?
Davis: Yeah because I look at the offense and look at the experience on the field and I probably have the most experience there. Probably me and Barry Richardson. Barry, he's not really a talkative guy so I feel like I've got to be the one that has that leadership role to get the offense to step up. The defense, they've got a couple of seniors over there that have played. They got a lot guys with leadership so I'm looking at that as kind of my role on offense now.

I want to ask you about last season and what happened towards the end of the year. What does this offense need to do this year to be more consistent for 12 games and put up bigger numbers against quality teams?
Davis: We have to have more enthusiasm at the end of the year. We kind of had our heads down after the Virginia Tech game. But you know me, I kind of say you can't just blame it on that. But we do need some more enthusiasm on and off the field and that will help us out a lot.

There was also talk last season that you had a shoulder injury of some kind that was limiting your ability after the Virginia Tech game. Talk about your health during those last five games.
Davis: I had a shoulder injury. It just kept bothering me. I kept putting all kinds of pads on my shoulder because I didn't want to have surgery and have to end the season. I was playing through it doing the best I can because I knew my team needed me and I just wanted to stay out on the field.

But the shoulder injury did affect you, didn't it?
Davis: It affected me some. But you know me, I'm not the kind of guy that's going to blame it on the injury. I played with a cast on before and that didn't affect me. I just thought the other teams were preparing well for me at the end of the year.

So health-wise right now, where are you?
Davis: I'm feeling 100%. During the offseason I did everything I could to train with it and I did everything possible to get better. Right now I'm ready. This is probably one of the best springs I've had.

Last year at Arkansas we saw Darren McFadden and Felix Jones did an incredible job playing different positions - for instance quarterback. Is there any chance at all we could see you or C.J. in that kind of role this season?
Davis: I don't know about that. We've got some quarterbacks that can take on that role. Willy Korn, he's a good quarterback and he's a good runner so I think he can help us out. We can have that one-two punch with him in the game. But I doubt me and C.J. will line up at quarterback. There have been some games where lined up at quarterback and got the ball but it won't be where we'll be throwing the ball.

I talked with C.J. earlier in the week about the quarterback position and he gave me the politically correct answer about which guys looked good because basically he said they all did. Do you have anything to add to that?
Davis: I got to say they are pretty much playing the same right now. Everybody knows everything they are supposed to do. It's all about who's getting in with the first and second team and playing with more experienced guys. Coach has been putting everybody in there. If you make a mistake with the first and second team then coach will take you out. Everybody right now though is on the same level. Cullen may be ahead of everybody because of his experience so I'll give the edge.

Obviously you are seeing what is getting ready to happen to Gaines Adams with the draft and now that you are coming into your junior season there is significant speculation that this could be your last year. You said last year you would have to be one of the top running backs taken, a top 10 pick if you were coming out. Do you still feel the same way now?
Davis: I've been looking at Gaines Adams and I know he was projected as a second round pick or later after his junior year so he made a good decision coming back and he boosted his stock up. Right now, there is a lot of talent at running back going into this year but my mom wants me to graduate and that's what my family wants. I'll be the first to graduate from college from my family. The only way I would come out is if I was going to be in the top 10. Me and the coaches have talked about it and unless I'm in the top 10 I'll be here.

CUTigers.com Top Stories