At 6'2" and around 255 lbs., Alan Davis won't strike you as immediately intimidating at either defensive end or tight end. That's the way it is nowadays, when there are players like Calais Campbell at DE that stand 6'8" and Tight Ends like Kory Sperry that stand 6'6" and for a TE, that's not even that big of a deal.
So, Alan Davis has to be the complete package in order to get noticed. His numbers would tell you that he is just that and then some.
Take his reported bench and squat for example: With a bench of 315 and a squat of 520, strength isn't a big deal. After all, the aforementioned Campbell reported that he benches right around 275 max, but because of his long arms and height, that's not a major issue. Much of the same can be said for Alan, though his strengths at either TE or DE rely not on his size, but what he does with it.
On the defensive side, Alan did much to show that size really doesn't matter as he tallied 45 tackles (18 solos, 27 assists) with three fumble recoveries, two caused fumbles, four sacks, 10 quarterback pressures, six other tackles for losses and had two deflected passes.
On the offensive side, Alan didn't see a lot of action as a tight end, having to split time with Nebraska commit, J.B. Phillips and in reality, defense is where Alan says he feels most at home, stating that right now, if someone asked him to choose what he wanted to play at the next level, he knows where it would be. "If I had to choose right now, I would want to be a defensive end." Alan said. With those stats mentioned above, you can see why.
It's not just his ability to be prolific on that side of the ball that draws him to being a D-guy, rather than an O-guy. Point of fact, he likes what most defensive players like about that side. "I like to hit people." Davis stated. "The best feeling is when you get them wide-open and the adrenaline gets going, you get excited because you know you are about to get them, lay them out and the crowd reaction afterwards, that's the best."
"It gets you pumped up and you just keep going and going, trying for that again."
Stereotypical of any sport nowadays, along with every other position on the field, the size of players keeps getting bigger. As players keeping reaching for the stars in height, their speed and strength somehow remains as good or in some freakish cases, better. It's a fight for guys that seemingly fit the "old school" mold of body-types, but when there seems to be a need in physical size, some like Davis more than make up for it with other just as important assets. "I make up for that height, because I am quick off the ball." Alan said. "I'm quick, so I can get around the big guys faster than most and I just have the will to get to people and knock their head off."
Alan's attitude strikes anyone as typical of most of your "average" defensive players. Not to say it's equal to most in it's intensity, but it's equal, because he's so intense. Real intense by his definition, even between snaps. "When I am out there, I just go crazy." Alan said. "I just go wild and right before that ball is snapped, I just can't wait to get back there and hit that quarterback as hard as I can."
It's also not just a physical game with Davis, but a mental contest as well, one he says isn't that much of a challenge when it comes to the "bigguns" across from him. "It's easy to get in the heads of those big guys." Davis stated. "They have to remember their blocking schemes, remember which way to go, so you just talk to them a little bit and they can forget what they are doing."
That is the game within the game, but something that isn't a game for Davis will be his recruiting, because as his popularity has grown, so have the choices near and far, thus the more he has to think about it, pondering what's best for him. Alan does have a couple base things he is considering though when speculating on which team is best for him. "I like the connections to the next level(the NFL)." Alan said. "A good tradition, good academics and a chance to look beyond."
With offers from schools the likes of Oklahoma, Nebraska, LSU, Auburn, Arizona and North Carolina, opportunities abound in that respect, but right now, Alan says he has his eyes on two. "Most definitely Nebraska and Oklahoma." Alan said of his top two teams right now. "They both have great coaching staffs, great traditions and there's just so much about both I like right now."
Most players don't have a top two. Heck, some not even a top ten. Though you have seen some early commits around the country, some just aren't in that big of a hurry. Alan said this isn't something he would like to deal with throughout the season, but will if needed. "Truthfully, I would like to get it over with before my season starts." he said. "That way I can just concentrate on my senior season, but I am going to do my homework and make sure it's the right choice and if that takes me into the season or beyond, ok, because when I make my decision, it's going to be the right one for me."
"You can't rush these things, because that's 4 or 5 years of my life right there, so if it happens, it happens, if not, that's ok. I will just take my time then."
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619