USFNation Class of '07 Q&A: Claude Davis

Claude Davis was The Bulls first commit of '07 and at 6'4-230 pounds the All-State defensive end was also one of the hottest prospects in the state. In todays exclusive interview find all about what type of a player he is, what he wants to accomplish at USF, and much more. Only on! Get it First, Get it Fast!

Claude Davis Profile  How does it feel now that all the signing day hype is past?
Claude Davis: I love it, I feel good about myself. I feel like I made the right choice by signing with USF over Toledo, Michigan State, or Louisville. Then I'd be out of state, and probably get home sick and all. The other schools were nice, but they were not like USF. I feel like big things are going to happen here.

USFN: Why did you choose USF?
Davis: USF is a team that has lots of potential, I also really like the coaches and it's close to home so my friends and family can see me play. A player of my caliber, I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I'd like to see the field a couple of times during the season if not start as a freshmen. The coaching staff there is straight, they have always been up front with me and I love that about them.

USFN: What are some of the things that you like about USF?
Davis: Everything, I've loved it since the first camp I went to. I like the coaches, the players, and the campus. This is the perfect situation for me. Also, I have a chance to play early. It's all up to me, how much weight I can put on and how well I do when I come in there. I'll be spending a lot of time training and preparing and stuff for when I get there this summer.

USFN: Have you been training hard since the season ended?
Davis:  Yeah, I'm doing good I've been training on the program that coach McKeefery sent me. I like it, and think I look good, I look big and I'm up to 231.5 pounds now. During the season I was like 220-225. My body size is definitely bigger, I don't know about my footwork yet, because I haven't done as much conditioning and speed stuff, but as far as strength stuff, I'm stronger, bigger, and my body tone is there. I'm benching 345 pounds now. I was benching 315 during the season.

USFN: Have you been following the Bulls this season?
Davis: You know I have. I went to a lot of games and watched every one that I could on TV

USFN: How long have the Bulls been recruiting you, and who were involved?
Davis: USF has been recruiting me since my junior year and going into the spring. Coach Burnham, I saw him first, and then coach Leavitt came out to my school twice. Then I went over to the school during the summer a couple of times and sat down with coach Clark when he was there. They have been recruiting me for a while.

USFN: Have you met the new defensive line coach McCarney yet?
Davis:  I know about coach McCarney because Iowa State offered me too, and I talked to him a couple of times. We know of each other but haven't met yet, and I'm looking forward to doing that. He coached Iowa State.

USFN: Which coach made the biggest impression on you during your recruitment?
Davis: Coach Burnham and coach Leavitt, I like coach Leavitt's mentality, and his attitude and stuff. That guy is real positive. He's very outgoing, and that's the kind of coach that I like a lot because basically I'm going to be psyched, you know what I'm saying. To me being around that energy I know that if he's got that energy then I'm going to get energy. Hopefully I can help the team chemistry and energy and were going to make some plays.

USFN: Do you know any of the current players on the Bulls?
Davis: Yeah I know a whole lot of players there.

USFN: What position are the Bulls recruiting you for, and do you play any other positions?
Davis: They're recruiting me for defensive end. My freshmen year I played wide receiver, then my sophomore year I played tight end and last year I played mostly defensive end with a little tight end.

USFN: Do you like playing inside?
Davis: It was fun but it was kind of easy. Centers are kind of slow, and I'm a speedy guy, so make a move on him real fast. It was a challenge but it wasn't a challenge.

USFN: You really seemed to get noticed this, what was the reason?
Davis: Last year was my first year playing varsity so I was still learning. I was playing on what I already learned and playing on what I was learning. I really wasn't at that aggressive level. I'm an aggressive player, but I was new. After that first year of varsity I worked hard over the summer, and because of my play I had better opportunities my senior year that I didn't have my junior.

USFN: What type of a defense do you like to run the most?
Davis: We ran a 4-3, so that's what I'm used to. Usually if I'm not doing stunts or something I'm just free on the outside to make plays. I usually play D-end or D-tackle. On third along situations we'd go to a 3-5 and I'd line up at nose tackle just so I could beat the center. I play inside and outside, and some plays I'd drop back to linebacker so I did a lot of stuff.

USFN: What type of offense do you like to see when you get to the line?
Davis: Well in high school we face a lot of winged- t, I-formation, one back, the hardest we faced was Riverview they had like double tight end, wing two with two wings, it was crazy.

USFN: Do have a favorite play that you like to run? Davis: We had a play called read slice where I'm on the outside, then I bump up into a head up with a tackle or a tight end, and give them an inside move. Definitely most of my tackles for a loss or sacks came on that play

USFN: Do you have a favorite move? 
Davis: My favorite move is the where I line up on the outside, then rush real hard and then I do a stutter step to the outside wait for the tackle or tight end to open their shoulders, and then I come underneath. Because they're opening their shoulders to me, it's wide open. Then, I'm either sacking the quarterback or I'm bringing a running back or a full back down. Every time.

USFN: Is there a play that catches people off guard?
Davis:  Yeah, I use a spin move. I'll ride the tackle or tight end all the way to the QB level and then spin on him. You got to play it smart, but you can get them with it. If you know the game then it's like taking candy from a baby. But you got to come to the line with a move whether it's a bull rush or push pull or what ever. You got to watch the lineman and do what you got to do.

USFN: Do you enjoy playing special teams? 
Davis: I played on every special team play. On field goal I played tight end, and on punt return and kick return, I played second wall, on kick off coverage I was on the line too.

USFN: What are some of your strengths as a player? 
Davis: My upper body mostly, I got long arms and I got big hands, so its hard for an a tight end or a tackle to get their hands on me. But once I get my hands on you, then forget about it, you're going to be in trouble.

USFN: Is there anything that you would like to work on as a player?
Davis: Yeah I want to get a little faster. I run a 4.6-4.7 and I want to get down to a 4.5 or a 4.4, then I know what I don't make up for in size at USF, I'll make up for in speed. My footwork is good. I just want to work on my speed.

USFN: What is your favorite thing to do on the field?
Davis: My Favorite thing to do? Oh yeah, the quarterback sack, that is the best feeling.

USFN: What is the perfect play to you?
Davis: Getting a sack and the fumble is big. Especially if their not looking and you hit them in the back and blindside them. Man, that pumps me up. Then if you can get a scoop and score, it looks even pretty then.  Then everybody is like oh yeah he's a ball player.

USFN: What is your most memorable moment on the field?
Davis: When I was growing up I was terrible at football. I was good at basketball but terrible at football. I was like 14 and the coach said he had a $25.00 play for me, and I broke for like 50 yards and when I ran into the end zone I turned around to celebrate and I fell down. I still remember that to this day.

USFN: Is there a player on another level, college or pro that you model your game after?
Davis: I say sort of like Dwight Freeney with a little Julius Pepper mixed in. Those are two NFL players that look up to. I watched a lot of games that they played in, and that's who I want to be like.

USFN: What are your current height, weight and 40 yard time?
Davis: I'm 6'4, and about 231 pounds right now, I been running a 4.7, my fastest is a 4.65, but I'm working on getting it down

USFN: Do you play any other sports?
Davis:  I run track, I do high jump, my highest is like a 6'2,  I also long jump and run the hurdles. 

USFN: What are you going to do to stay in shape before you get to Campus?
Davis:  I Run a lot, and stadium runs and rout running. That and sticking to the program that USF gave me. 

USFN: Do they have any problems redshirting? 
Davis: No I don't have a problem with it, I'm not looking forward to it, but if that's what I have to do then I'll do it. It's going to do nothing but help me. I'm not planning on it, but if I do then next year I'll be that much better. It's like Matt came in and redshirted, came back real strong and it worked out good.

USFN: What do they plan to accomplish while here at USF?
Davis: I want to get my degree, and then go pro, that's my goals. Getting my education, and then improve myself as a player then get to the NFL combine. USF has got talent, we may not be as known as some other schools, but we got talent. I also feel real good about this incoming class. I been checking USFNation a lot, we got a real strong class. Mike ford, he's a beast. There's a lot of great talent. I think it's close to Florida, but they got more 5 star guys. 

USFN: What three things come to your head when I say USF?
Davis: I think Potential, great coaching staff, great players.

USFN: What team are they most looking forward to playing against in the next 4 years?
Davis: I'm looking forward to Louisville, because one of my teammates Bilal Powell went there, and they recruited me too. Also I'm looking forward to sacking Mr. Brohm, because when I was on my visit he was talking some smack to me.

USFN: How are your grades, how are you toward qualifying.
Davis:  I got a 2.45 GPA, and I got a 16 the last time I took the test, but I need a 17, and I'm waiting on my last scores, I should be straight though.

USFN: Are you excited to get to campus?
Davis: Oh. I'm real excited, I'm at USF, or will be and look at where were this team is going. If we win all are conference games next year then we go to a BCS bowl. I mean we just won the PapaJohns bowl, that's two bowl games in our first two years in the Big East, and you can't beat that, that's not bad at all. I can't wait.


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