Steve Davis Prepares for Sophomore Season

Steve Davis appeared in 11 of 12 games as a true freshman with 10 starts. Davis worked hard in the offseason to gain strength and weight to prepare for his sophomore season. GoldenSports.Net recently caught up with Davis to learn about his expectations for the season.

Steve Davis started the first nine games as a true freshman before missing the Michigan State game due to injury, but returned to the starting lineup against Virginia in the Music City Bowl. He was a scholar-athlete award winner and earned his first varsity letter. He finished the season with 37 tackles (24 solo), nine tackles-for-loss, six quarterback sacks and a pass breakup, and his six sacks were the most on the team and ninth most in the Big Ten Conference. Davis tied with John Shevlin for the team lead in tackles-for-loss with nine. He was named an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice by the media and named to the Sporting News Big Ten All-Freshman Team and the College Football News Freshman All-America Team.

You obviously had a great freshman season. What type of things are you trying to build on for this year?

"Try to get better basically. Last year, the defense would be up the first two quarters, and the last two quarters we would lay down. Basically, guys are telling each other that we have to play hard for all four quarters and come out with a win. Because we don't want to be slagging and be down 21-0 and have to come back. Guys have to come out and play hard each quarter."

I know that you have some new defensive coaches this year. What type of difference are fans going to see from the defense?

"This year, the new coaches are bringing in different schemes. Guys are really excited about it because a lot of guys get opportunities to make big plays now because we are going to be blitzing a lot more. Our coverages are a lot better and we are building a new team chemistry because each coach is a tough coach. Guys are out there that are going to push you to a your limit. If you are not out there working hard, you are not going to get your opportunity to play."

How about your weight? I know that last year you were one of the lighter defensive ends, but were still very effective. I know that you wanted to put on some weight in the offseason. You look bigger. What are you at right now?

"In the offseason, I gained about 20 pounds. Right now, I'm about 240 and we have the two-a-days coming up, so basically you are going to get fed. I hope to put on about five more pounds."

How does it feel?

"It feels good. It's not fat weight. It's good weight. I'm still able to run and that is the most important thing."

Was that something you realized last year playing against 300-pound tackles that you were wearing down and that you needed to put on some more weight and still keep the quickness to not get all that pounding?

"Being undersized, basically you are going to get pushed around a lot. But, right now, I feel that I've gotten a lot bigger and stronger where I can play the run a lot better, so I wouldn't get pushed around as much."

Having that year of experience, does that help with knowing what to do and where to be?

"I've got that experience of knowing what the Big Ten is. I can take what I learned from last year and evolve it into a better game for me this year."

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