Big Fred Davis had a banner year for USC
Big Fred Davis has a big smile and a pleasant demeanor both on and off of the football field. He is easy to talk to and is enjoyable to be around. The start of his Trojan career wasn't easy, as the Ohio native had an adjustment period which saw him struggle to return to campus after holidays.
He was homesick. Said Davis, "When I first got here, I wasn't used to the California thing." He also had to adjust to being in California while the rest of his family was in the Midwest. Also, coming to the Trojans as a wide receiver and growing into his big frame, Pete Carroll decided to move him to the tight end position, another adjustment he needed to adapt to.
Each year Fred Davis increased his production. In his final season, he became the number one weapon on the offensive unit. Davis set the standard for tight ends on a team that had previously been dependent on big plays from its wide receivers. He was the most consistent receiver on the team in 2007. It culminated with being voted as a team co-MVP at the team's end-of-year awards banquet.
Davis saw his numbers increase dramatically over his four year Trojan career.
Over the span of four years, Davis had 117 catches, which puts him 12th on USC's career receptions list. It's remarkable for a tight end. His 13 career touchdowns and 1,208 receiving yards are USC records for tight ends.
Saving the Best for Last
Fred Davis' senior season not only resulted in team highs of 62 receptions for 881 yards and eight touchdowns; he was also decorated with multiple awards at year's end. Topping his awards list was the 2007 Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. He was also named as an All-American on several lists, consensus All Pac-10 first team, and was selected to the Senior Bowl.
A Four Year Graduate
On Going to the Rose Bowl three of the last four years and the Orange Bowl in his freshman year, Davis said, "Just to be appreciative of everything, even though it was the third time we were there, just take it one step at a time, not overlooking where we've been, appreciate the Rose Bowl, appreciate everything where we're at, we had a tough season with all the losses and injuries to veterans. Now we've ended in a good situation."
Enjoying Post Season Bowl Games
Having been involved in four bowl games, his most memorable was, "When we played Texas, we tried and we really gave it our all. I felt like even though we lost, that's probably one of the best games I remember ever playing in, it was hard fought, lot of emotions."
The Winningest Senior Class in History
Fred Davis is part of one of the winningest senior classes in history, for Davis, four straight BCS Bowl Games, a National Championship and four straight Pac-10 Championships. Fifth year seniors enjoyed five Pac-10 Championships, two National Championships and five BCS bowl appearances. Said Davis, "It's a great accomplishment, you don't even think about it till you start hearing about it."
Davis had a game high 7 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown in his final Rose Bowl.
On Playing in His Final Rose Bowl
His main objective for the Rose Bowl was to "Go home with a win, know that I played my best in every aspect of the game: blocking, receiving, spiritually, emotionally. That was my wish." Appropriately, Davis had a game-high 7 receptions for 87 yards (with a 2-yard TD) against Illinois.
Davis had a great week at the Senior Bowl, what's next on his list? "Probably to go to the NFL combine and pro day at USC."
A Productive Senior Season
Describing his productive senior year. "I had a pretty good year. When I first got here, I wasn't used to the California thing. Now you mature a little more and more, and become more of a player, a better player, it definitely helps a lot."
We asked Davis to summarize his senior season, he said, "I was the most experienced guy out of the receiving corps, so I helped my teammates out anyway that I could, blocking or receiving or whatever it is. Help my team out help spiritually and mentally, helping the younger guys through situations. It kind of helps to have an older guy who's been through situations that can help them through."
Finally we asked Davis why his numbers increased so dramatically this past year. He said, "Experience and getting more touches. There were great receivers like Dwayne (Jarrett) and Steve (Smith), it was hard to get touches, when you do get the chance you try to do the best that you can and this year, I was the guy."
Best of luck to Fred Davis in the NFL.