Fall Camp Spotlight: Morgan Davis

Wisconsin's starting left tackle will be the subject of frequent scrutiny this fall. He and his coach, however, are confident he can handle the position.

Wisconsin's plethora of offensive weapons rolls off the tongue. The skill positions are loaded with running backs Anthony Davis and Dwayne Smith, receivers Lee Evans, Jonathan Orr, Brandon Williams and Darrin Charles, not to mention a host of others waiting for an opportunity. Guards Dan Buenning and Jonathan Clinkscale are proven veterans. Center Donovan Raiola and right tackle Mike Lorenz are considered near sure bets, having displayed solid skills when they have reached the field. It is a plentiful bounty for new quarterback Jim Sorgi, who has proven that he can get the ball downfield and move an offense.

 

But there has to be a catch, right? It can't all be so good. So where is the weak link? Some focus on the lack of production at tight end, but with so many superbly talented receivers, and Wisconsin's aptitude at using its tight ends as sixth linemen, this does not seem terribly burdensome.

 

Still more people look to the Badgers production last season. With a similarly talented squad, Wisconsin finished last in the Big Ten total offense and eighth in scoring offense. The fits and spurts of offensive brilliance last season, however, are considered the natural growing pains of an extremely young team.

 

Ah, but what about that other member of the offensive line? The one who is truly an unknown commodity, left tackle Morgan Davis.

 

So there it is, the pre-ordained fall guy. Sometimes, it appears that even with the best of expectations, some sort of detraction has to be available, just to keep optimism in perspective.

 

"I think it is always the young guys that they look to put a blame on or whatever but if I just go out there and do my job I will be fine," Davis said.

 

Davis' left tackle position was frequently described as a place of concern last spring. During Wednesday's media day press conference, however, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said he is happy with Davis' progress at the position.

 

"The left tackle was a concern, but Morgan Davis has improved every year and I thought he made a huge jump from his season through spring," Alvarez said. "He probably was the biggest surprise of the spring. I think we are really solid there and I expect Morgan to take another big step.

 

"Chris McIntosh came down to work with our linemen all summer and we got some feedback from him that he liked the way Morgan was progressing… I feel pretty good about left tackle. I feel much better than I did going into spring."

 

"Mac was really good," Davis said of his offseason work with McIntosh. "He helped me change my stance a little bit so I'll be able to get out of it a little faster. Hands. Feet. Everything like that. It just was a great help."

 

 

Despite the constant attention and inevitable scrutiny that will follow the Badgers' new left tackle, Davis is confident in his position.

 

 "I want to take the starting job here and make it mine and hold onto it," Davis said. "I'm very comfortable. (The starting job) is mine to lose."


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