Gators' Jarrad Davis focused on Citrus Bowl and next year

Florida’s junior linebacker has had some time to think about a decision to turn to the professional ranks after the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl or stay, but has put that stuff behind him to concentrate on beating Michigan.

He said a few weeks ago he would return next season and Jarrad Davis seems to be sticking to that notion.

“I really was in deep thought, but I switched gears and just decided to focus heavily on this bowl game, because this is the next game that’s up for me and my team,” he said. “So I had to make sure that I had the best performance possible and that we had the best performance possible in this game. I haven’t really thought about it much since a couple weeks ago.”

Davis is understanding of the other player s on the team that have decided to forego their senior season and attempt to get drafted in the NFL in April.

 “You know, it’s tough to see guys go, but we have a lot of talent on this team, so when it’s their time it’s their time,” he said. “It’s something that you’ve got to understand. Like I said, I haven’t really thought much about my decision. I haven’t looked into it too deep because I know we have to play Michigan. They’re a great team, so we really have to focus on them and what they offer.”

When asked straight up if he would be returning next year, Davis reassured the media at hand.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said.

 On tap for Friday is a big game between two storied programs in Florida and Michigan. Davis is really looking forward to the matchup.  

“Definitely,” he said. “This is a big game. Florida-Michigan, you don’t see it a lot. I haven’t seen it much in my life. But they’re two very good teams and I know a lot of people are excited to see us play. I feel like if we beat them, we can prove to the world who we are.”

“It’s definitely great going into the offseason with a win. It’s definitely a confidence booster. It also just shows that we have to continue to work to get wins, because we’ve been working hard these past couple of weeks after the SEC Championship Game to make sure that we put ourselves in the best position in this game.”

“I just look at it as another opportunity for us to go out and show who we are. Every time we step out on the field, especially on a Saturday, it’s an opportunity for us to show the nation exactly who the Florida Gators are. That’s exactly how I look at it.”

 Davis feels he and his teammates are really feeling like they have something to prove for this game.

 “That just comes with the past couple weeks of preparation,” he said. “Like I said, we’ve been really focusing on the details. We’ve got to make sure that we tackle, we block, and we’ve got to make sure that we hustle to the ball. We’ve got to make sure that we hustle around the field. Put ourselves in good positions to make plays, because Coach Shannon and Coach Collins, all of the defensive coaches, have been telling us as a defense – the guys who want to be here are the guys who win these games. If you want to be here, you’ve got to make sure that you focus on everything that you need to. That you’re playing the football that you’ve been playing all season long.”

“We did a great job this year of taking ownership. We knew what we had. We knew how good we were. We just made sure that every time we stepped out on the field, we owned it. That’s at practice too. We want to make sure that what you put on tape is what you want the world to see. That’s what we did every day. We came out there with that mentality every day in practice. It just showed.”

Davis said one reason to come back for next season is that it should be another exciting and talented team.

“I think we could be very good. The guys who are leaving this year, they set a great example for us, for everybody who has the possibility of coming back. They kind of passed it to us. These past couple of weeks, we’ve been kind of taking advantage of stepping up as new leaders and a lot of guys have really done some surprising things. The way everything looks right now, we could be great next year.”

It all ends and really starts on Friday against a Michigan team and offense that Davis says has some real talent.  

“Their quarterback, he’s got a live arm,” he said. “They like to take shots. They’ve got an explosive offense. They can move the ball. We’ve just got to make sure, the defense, that we’re on our P’s and Q’s and that we make sure we take care of our job and each and every player has to take care of their job to stop this offense. I feel like we can. I feel very confident. I’m not really too worried about this, you know, because I know what we have. I’ve seen it these past couple of weeks. The way we we’ve been working, how hungry we’ve been, every time we step on that practice field, it’s ready. We’re all ready to step on that field on Friday.”


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