Big man on campus

CLEMSON - It doesn't fit Kalon Davis to say he's smaller than when he arrived on campus in January as one of two early enrolled members of the 2010 signing class.

Two months ago, his weight was within shouting distance of 400. By day two of his first spring practice at Clemson, he's trimmed down below 350 and now he has his sights set even lower.

"I was supposed to get down below 350 by spring ball, which is now," he said. "Now, I'm trying to get down to about 335, 330."

Davis checked in at 370 during his first Clemson weigh-in.

On Tuesday, the mountain third-string left guard from Chester chuckled and shrugged when asked to venture a guess as to the last time he weighed 330. Instructed to cut that weight, Davis has done so without much resistance.

"Where I come from, in Chester, it's all about working. I feel like if I work hard, there's always a chance of me getting a chance to play my freshman year," he said.

Before spring practice opened, offensive line coach Brad Scott received good reports on Davis' work during the All-In mat drills.

"The other players have mentioned it to me already, ‘Coach, he doesn't quit.' He may have realized he's a little out of shape and heavy…this kid's got something about him," Scott said. "He pushes, he goes through it."

Not to get too far ahead of himself, Davis point out that the most important part of what he does hasn't even started.

Besides, it's only two days into spring practice. The pads haven't even been put on.

"I feel like, as an offensive lineman, that's the only way, with the pads, you can prove whether you belong or not," he said.

With two months of study already under his belt, Davis continues catching up to the learning curve.

"I came in here expecting to be on the back row, learning the playbook and everything…I feel like if I can just get to knowing as much as the veteran players and I can put out as much physically, I'll have a chance at playing," he said.

For Davis, there hasn't been a great deal of mental adjustment to going from a humble starter in high school to a humble reserve in college.

"On the football field, it's just a lot of competition, trying to hang with a new crowd," he said. "You just went from starting in high school and now you're third-string as a freshman in college. I'm just trying to figure it out."

Of course, there are several names above him on the depth chart at left guard. Only listed above the injured Mason Cloy, Davis is behind David Smith, the ad hoc starter, and Matt Sanders.

But he has 13 spring practices, the rest of the spring semester, not to mention a long summer and fall camp to challenge the upperclassmen that are currently above him. However it plays out between now and then, Davis is ready to accept whatever role Scott has for him in the fall.

"If he wants me to play, I'll be happy to suit up and play," Davis said. "If he wants me to redshirt, I'll be happy to redshirt."

"Even not, it'll be something to build on next year with the coaches already having thoughts on what they expect from me." Top Stories