Daverin Geralds update -

A sprained ankle during the first series of the Red-Blue Game denied Rebel fans an opportunity to see much of one of the most improved players in spring training, but sophomore DT Daverin Geralds wants you to get a good look this fall. Read about it inside.

When it was first decided 2006 freshman Daverin Geralds would be moved from offensive line to defensive line, the thought was that the Louisiana native would eventually be moved back to the OL and that his move to defense was a stop-gap, plug-a-hole decision.

Little did anyone know that Daverin would not only like the position, but by the end of spring he would make himself a viable, and rapidly improving, candidate for playing time in 2007.

"I tried to step up and push myself in spring. I wanted to go beyond anyone's expectations of me during that time and I feel I built some good momentum heading into the offseason," said the articulate 310-pounder. "I've been pushing myself and grinding in the summer. Besides workouts with the strength coaches, I have come in on my own and done extra stuff to get ready for the season. I've tried to refine what I learned in spring."

Daverin left spring knowing his DL techniques would have to be fine-tuned.

"After I evaluated myself after spring, I knew I had to get better using my hands and in sustaining my footwork. I focused on that this summer, beyond the drills we did with the strength coaches," he explained.

All last spring, Coach Ed Orgeron would address the spring with kudos about Daverin, but in the first series of the spring game, which was supposed to be a chance for the Rebel fans to see him operate, Daverin hurt his ankle and could not play the rest of the scrimmage.

"That was disappointing, but I'm 100% now, and that's what is important," Geralds added. "I was excited about that game and I felt I could prove some things to my coaches and fans, but it didn't work out. It was real disappointing, but you have to put that stuff behind you."

With most young players, assignments can be a roadblock. Not so with Daverin. Football comes natural to him and he understands what the coaches are teaching.

"I feel I am very assignment-sound. Jeremy Garrett helped me a lot getting everything down. I am one of our callers (the player on the DL who makes checks and calls adjustments) so I knew I would have to be assignment-sound. J.G. and I watched a lot of film and I was able to pick things up quickly," Daverin noted. "I wasn't surprised when the coaches told me I was going to be a caller because I caught on pretty quickly and the coaches noticed that. I had trouble with techniques early on, but I didn't have any assignment problems. I knew what to do, but it took me some time to learn how to do it. I grasped it quickly, thanks to J.G. and Brandon Jenkins and some others. Being able to grasp the concepts of what we are doing has helped in my transition from OL to DL."

Daverin is very content on the DL.

"I love the defensive line and my whole mentality has changed toward football. I don't know if I could be an offensvie lineman now, even if I wanted to, which I really don't," he explained. "I like what I am doing and have poured everything into being a DT."

Geralds weighs 310 now, but would like to get around 300 by the end of August.

"I think camp will sweat the other weight off me. I'm in real good shape right now, so I'm not worried about the extra weight coming off," he stated.

Geralds is excited about the prospects of the Rebel defensive line for 2007.

"I think we have a great group of guys who are working very hard to be good. In my opinion, we are the hardest-working group on the team and to me that means we should be counted on to help carry the team," he closed. "We have experience now and we have good depth. I think we will be real good this year."

Geralds is correct - the defensive line is projected to be a strength of the Rebel team.

And he's become - through hard work and brainpower - a real part of that equation.

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