Quote Sheet: Malcolm Crockett, Corey Davis

Todd Graham has constantly praised freshmen running backs Malcolm Crockett, Corey Davis and Isaac Bennett. He said after Monday's practice that he is not afraid to play all three this year. Crockett and Davis spoke after Monday's practice about their experience at Pitt so far.

Corey Davis

Coach Graham's take: "Corey Davis is explosive, and can do some things. He's going to play. The young guys really shined (in Saturday's scrimmage). Those three running backs have done well. You hate to have to play them as freshmen, but I think they're too good not to."

Do you feel you made an impression on these coaches?
"I came in, really didn't know a lot. The first week, it was kind of trouble for me, learning plays and everything. I studied the playbook and learned it more. The second week, I put a good impression on my coaches. As of right now, I'm doing real good."

What's it like having a guy like Ray Graham leading the way?
"Working with Ray Graham back there, he's a good leader and everything. I'm just following him. Whenever I fall, he picks me up. I'm just very humbled to be back there with him. It's going good right now."

Is this offense what you expected, coming in?
"It's going to be a very explosive offense, like Coach Graham was talking about. He's always talking about high-octane. It's what we're looking forward to doing. I'm just ready to get the ball in my hands and have smoke behind me. I'm ready to go."

Do you feel you have the strengths that is required to be a running back in this offense?
"In high school, I had (defenders) come at all types of angles. I'm 20 yards behind them, and they're going at the angle I'm going at. I'm steady. I'm not worried about nothing. I'm not a shake and bake person. I'm just straight ahead. When I turn on my jets, it's just about over with for anyone that's chasing me. I'm very humbled to say that."

What kinds of things give you that speed?
"I was blessed. I grew up in the country. Everything we did was outside in the woods. Everything we did, we did it real fast; play football in the street, play hide-and-go-seek in the woods. That's just something we did every day; me with my twin brother. That's how we did; throw the football, everything. We'd wake up in the morning, go to my Grandma's house, she'd fix us breakfast, and we're outside playing every day—sun up to sun down. That's how I got tough."

What kind of things did your uncles help you with?
"My uncles, they always stayed on us about staying out of trouble. If we did anything wrong, they were quick to get on to us. My Grandma, she got us the whole way here. I was blessed from where I came from."

You were raised by your Grandma?
"No sir. I was raised by my Mom and Daddy. When (his mom) went to work, we went down to our Grandma's house and we stayed around her. I loved to be around my uncles. I love being around ‘old heads.' I get more knowledge around them, just to learn a bunch of new stuff."

Old heads?
"That's what I call (my uncles). I always call them that."

Were they football players?
"All of them were football players. They all played for the Weldon Bumble Bees. It was an all-black school back in the day. I just love to be around ‘old heads.' They teach me a lot. Every day, in the evening, I'm under the shade tree chilling with them. I just learned a lot."

What kinds of things did you learn from them?
"Being around them, being athletes, they're always talking about sports. Going to college, stay away from a whole lot of the trouble. Don't be around it, because they've been there, done that. They're real good leaders in my life. They always guide me to the right path. We're always talking about good things. We're always talking about fishing, just life. Just always stay away from the bad."

Was it easy to get in trouble in your neighborhood?
"My neighborhood, it wasn't easy. We stayed out in the country. We lived about 200 yards off the river. In the morning, we'd all get together and we'd do some crazy stuff, but it wasn't where we could get in trouble over anything. Half of the time, we were just out playing ball, in the woods, or just doing country things."

Malcolm Crockett

Coach Graham's take: "Crockett has been steady; ready to play. He's not running like a freshman. He's ready to play."

How excited is it to just be in the mix?
"As a true freshman, coming in, I had to grow up pretty quickly. I had to learn the plays really fast. Overall, I had a successful camp. Going into the regular season, I was very prepared. Going into the game, and the orientation, I just hope I can help this team beat Buffalo."

Going back to the recruiting process, going back to the things you were sold on with Pitt, has that impression matched up with what you're experiencing now?
"Over the recruiting process, it was pretty exciting. As it gets closer and closer to making your decision, sometimes it gets frustrating. As you narrow it down, your choices, you're able to look at the colleges more detailed. As you know, I was committed to Cincinnati. When I came to Pitt, it was a wonderful staff. I had a good talk with Coach Graham. I felt welcome. It was a good program, athletically and academically. I just felt I wanted to go to Pitt. The recruiting process, it was good. It can get overwhelming sometimes with all the choices, especially when you have a lot of choices."

How are you adjusting to the tempo of the offense?
"We ran a zone offense in high school. We didn't run no-huddle. We did condition very well, so running no-huddle, it's not really a problem because I'm in shape. When you're studying the plays, you just go out and do it without really thinking. It's hard when you're not in shape, the no-huddle really gets to you. You have to play every play when you're tired. You have a lack of focus. When you're in shape, it really helps you."

"Being in shape, it's awesome. You don't have to really adjust. You just have to do, learn and adapt. My goal is to gain weight. It's not really an allusion. It's lovely being in shape."

How athletic is your freshman class?
"The recruiting class that Coach Graham brought in, a lot of us are pretty fast. He wanted to bring speed in because of the offense we run. A lot of it is sweeps, and all that stuff. That requires speed, and it's going to cause the defense to play that, and it's going to leave our passing game open. It's going to cause a lot of confusion to defenses."


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