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Deshaun Davis


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Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis 'showed everybody what they've been missing'

James Crepea | jcrepea@al.com

Deshaun Davis waited a long time before he could make an impact on the football field again.

The Auburn linebacker missed his senior season due to injury, which led to him redshirting in 2014 and he saw limited time on special teams in 2015.

With the depth chart wide open last off-season, Davis climbed his way up to a starting role and didn't look back. The 5-foot-11, 246-pound Davis was third on the team with 63 tackles, including seven for loss, most by any returning player.

"It meant the world to me," Davis said. "Going (into last season), last time I actually played football was my junior year in high school. I sat out my senior year and first two years here, just to get out there on the first play of the game against Clemson, man it was just - after the game I was satisfied."

A former three-star recruit, Davis silenced some doubters in the process.


Why Deshaun Davis feels that 'Auburn's LB corps is back'

Why Deshaun Davis feels that 'Auburn's LB corps is back'

Auburn's inexperienced linebacker corps was a bright spot for a surprisingly stingy defense during Saturday's season-opening loss to No. 2 Clemson.


"Deshaun was ready to do this when we first got here, but nobody really gave him a chance," said fellow linebacker Tre' Williams, who has been friends with Davis since they were four years old. "When he finally got that chance he showed everybody what they've been missing. He really showed out. That's the player he's been all our lives.

"That's the same person you're going to see this year and on forward."

Though Davis and Williams didn't name names, the prior defensive staff did not feel as positive about him as the present one. Travis Williams taking over as linebackers coach helped change that.

"He always believed in me," Davis said. "I knew I was going to get an opportunity, but I knew at the same time it wasn't going to be given to me. When I finally realized he was going to get the (linebackers coach) job, I went into the weight room, worked hard and did a lot of stuff with the strength and conditioning stuff outside the Auburn team training together and it brought me where I am today."

With the year of experience, Davis believes he'll be improved in the fall thanks to extensive film study.

Until then, he's been asked by defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to help lead the defense and guide the younger linebackers.

"I want to mold the young guys," Davis said. "That's what coach Steele asked me to do. What we really want to do, is improve our depth. We know for a fact we got four guys that can play and you can put those guys on the field with us four linebackers and mix them up however you want to and there wouldn't be any decline in production."

Davis doesn't want anyone else to have to wait so long to prove themselves.

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