DEMAREE: Draak Davis awaits his last hoe-down

Draak Davis came to UK from Salano Community College in Vallejo, California with three years of eligibility. He had danced in junior college to the tune of 1,846 yards and 23 touchdowns and broke O.J.Simpson's juco records. He expected to come to the big dance at UK in the SEC but quickly became a wallflower for much of his career at UK as it relates to pilling up big numbers for the Wildcats. Now after much maturation he feels he is set for his last hoedown.

Former offensive coordinator Ron Hudson recruited Davis and coming from Kansas State, Hudson had vision of Davis becoming another Darren Sproules, both he and Davis being of like size.

"When he came here he was a little undersized which we knew and he had trouble breaking tackles at this level," coach Rich Brooks said. Brooks talked about the fact that Davis is now bigger and more physical. "He's a leader on our team in the weight room, off the field academically in every way. He'll be a vital senior for us this year. He'll be very involved in the kicking game as well as be a guy that's going to get some snaps at the tailback position."

About the Sproules comparison, Brooks said: "we thought he – a little back fast and explosive, unfortunately he got beat down, taking as many reps and hits and he wasn't as physically strong and didn't weigh as much as the kid at K-State. So he became less effective as the year went on the first year. Last year he did some really good things and we expect him to have his best year this year."

The coach said that pound-for-pound he is the strongest guy in the weight room. Brooks said that he proved that this summer when he got up to 191-pounds and in all the lifts he was very, very impressive.

Davis said when Hudson recruited him he didn't mention Sproules. "He just told me it was a great opportunity to play on a rising team in a great conference." Does he have any regrets coming all the way here from California? "I don't have any regrets because it forced me to grow up and be a man. I believe that's what I needed."

In reference to his size, he said he always weighed exactly 165-pounds. He said it was hard because he couldn't break tackles, the player were so big. He said size does make a difference and he is now weighing 188-pounds. Davis was going down at first hit and the explosive speed was not in evidence. He said he has improved his strength a lot and it has helped his speed.

Where was the advertised 4.3-speed when he got here? "I use to laugh at that because I don't know where people got that," Davis explained. I did run a 4.4 and I still do. When I came in, I felt pressure from the fans but not my teammates. To tell the truth, I wasn't ready to start my first year."

Davis likes the fact that the backs will be more involved in the passing game. He said Joker gets on the players hard when they do something wrong but it's not abusive. He said he also lets them know when they do something positive. "He is a really cool guy. He's positive and he motivates us."

Does Davis have the Napoleonic complex? "Oh yes, you have to," Davis said. "I've been tested all my whole life to see if I would back down and at the end of the game, if I wasn't successful numbers wise, at least you're going to respect me. That's the way I've always looked at it."

Davis is slated to be one of the kickoff return men this year and hopes to lead the SEC in that category. He was right up there last year with his 19.4-yard average but the SEC was not high in the country.

"I always go out there and give 110 percent and leave my heart on the field," Davis explained."

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