You will never see the phrase listed in his bio, it’s just something that comes with being the shining example of what a program should be all about. In this case, that is Jarrad Davis.
Davis is already nominated for every on-the-field reward. He’s up for the Butkus Award which honors the nation’s best linebacker. He’s also been nominated for the Bronco Nagurski award which goes to the nation’s best defender. He will be recognized by several All-SEC and All-American lists.
But to be the face of Florid Football, you have to do more than play well on the field. You have to be an example like Davis was on Monday at the SEC Football Media Days.
When reporters ask the head coach about how proud he must be of you and the things you say in front of the media, that kind of sets you apart from the others. That is what we got from Davis on Monday, a somewhat shy, very humble and classy guy that will take your head off on the football field. When he left the room he was in, conversation sparked up between reporters about how impressive an individual he was on the stage.
When asked about the different programs head coach Jim McElwain has to make sure the players do the right things, Davis gave a lasting impression with his response, and here is just part of that response.
“As a student athlete this is the way I look at it… every day I wake up and get out of bed and go to work. I have a special opportunity right here. My name is going to be on everything I do, but my mom, my grandpa, my grandma, my dad, my teachers, my coaches… everyone that played a part in getting me to this University… If I were to go out and jeopardize all the work and time they invested in me… that is extremely selfish. I wouldn’t want to waste all of that for a couple of minutes or a couple of seconds of doing something that I shouldn’t be doing.
“It’s very serious and something that is constantly talked about in the offseason because this is when we have all of our free time. We get constant reminders every week about what we should be doing and shouldn’t be doing. Coach Mac’s biggest rule is to do what’s right.”
Davis isn’t just about doing the right things, he is about doing more. He’s a volunteer with various groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Shands Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, and Williams Elementary School in Gainesville among others. He understands he is a role model in the community and he is sharing his love for people the best he can.
That is why he’s also nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy, named for Gator Great Danny Wuerrfel and known as “College Football’s Premiere Award for Community Service” who better to follow in the footsteps of.
He’s also been nominated to the AllState AFCA All Good Works Team which honors a select group of college football players that have made a commitment to service and enriching the lives of others.
The fact that Davis could be in the first year of an NFL contract and chose to come back for his senior season to fulfill some collegiate dreams is just another notch in the belt for the young man. He’s a selfless guy with life goals that he wants to realize.
One of those goals is winning an SEC Championship.
“With the defense we had last year it kind of set the standard, it set the bar extremely high and this year it’s the same level but everything we do is going to be centered around taking it to the next level,” he said Monday. “You don’t want to stay the same in anything you do, you want to get better. Our goal as far as the SEC Championship is to not only get there but we want to win. It is a lot to say that you made it because not everyone does, but we want to say we won it and move on. It is something that is on our mind constantly.”
The Gators have their leader on defense to do just that.