Versatility Gives Davis An Edge

While former Pitt teammates LeSean McCoy and Scott McKillop are training in California for the NFL Combine this week, C.J. Davis has remained home.

He left Pittsburgh to play in the Texas versus the nation all-star game in El Paso, Texas, but for the most part C.J. Davis has spent all his free time at Pitt's practice facility working out with other Panthers. Some things never change.

"I'm just working out with Buddy and James, along with a bunch of other guys who hope to extend their football careers to the next level,'' Davis said. "And I'm also finishing up my classwork to get my degree (in social sciences). I can't quit now, because I'm so close. That's why I came to Pitt. Football isn't promised, so I have to get that degree.''

Davis, who will graduate from Pitt in late April, around the same time as the NFL Draft, has been working out with Rashaad Duncan, Adam Gunn, Austin Ransom, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Eric Thatcher.

"We're doing things so I can be more explosive and also to keep up my conditioning,'' Davis said. "We do a lot in a short period of time. We want to make sure I can handle everything they want me to do at the Combine, so I'll be ready to go. I want my 40 time to be around 5.0, and I can get my shuttle time to 4.6 or something like that.

"There's probably some 40 times for lineman maybe at 4.9, but I think I move pretty well for a big guy. And I'll hold my own in the bench pressing with number of reps. I'll be able to do well there. So, it's really awesome that I was invited to the Combine. It's a blessing, really. I'm so happy to get this opportunity, and I'm working as hard as I can to be ready.''

Davis has accomplished a lot since arriving at Pitt four years ago. He moved into the starting lineup on the offensive line as a freshman and basically never left. He primarily played left guard, but had to move to center midway through this past season after an injury to the starter.

"My versatility got me some looks, but now it's up to me to perform,'' Davis said. "And we're all working very hard. We do a lot of warming up to make sure we don't pull anything. We lift, and we work on the different events like the 40, long jump, vertical jump, the shuttle, an L drill, which is a mix between the shuttle and a Figure 8 drill.

"And we've been working on several different workouts to improve explosion, because that's obviously important, and we're doing things to keep my heart rate up. I'm trying to keep my weight where it is, right around 300, so I've been working pretty hard the past 4-6 weeks to get ready for the Combine.''

Davis believed his best events were the strength tests, the L drill and shuttle. And as an intelligent, engaging young man, Davis should handle the interview sessions with relative ease as well.

"I'm approaching the Combine just like I do a football game,'' Davis said. "I want to give it everything I have and leave it all out there when I'm done. So, I obviously want to do very well, and I'm looking forward to it.

"I believe I can play at the next level, so I'm taking it real seriously. But I'm really not trying to think about it too much, either. As long as I'm prepared, which I believe I am, I should do pretty well.''

Pitt assistant strength and conditioning coach Chad Lee introduced Davis to agents with Players Rep Sports Management. Nate Haber is his agent.

Among the group's clientele are linebacker Andre Frazier, Pittsburgh Steelers; cornerback Asante Samuel, Philadelphia Eagles; linebacker Landon Johnson, Carolina Panthers; defensive end Chike Okeafor, Arizona Cardinals; fullback Lawrence Vickers, Cleveland Browns; and free safety Haruki Nakamura, Baltimore Ravens.

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