Aug. 14, 2009
Darius Davis is a junior in the secondary and has played 21 games for the Tigers. He looks to log more minutes than ever at safety for the Tigers in 2009. The Memphis native is confident about the secondary's improvement as a unit this season. GoTigersGo sat down with Darius this summer for a Q&A session.
Q. How has your summer been so far?
A. My summer has been great. I've been taking a financial management class, which has been doing a lot more in-depth about where money in the business-side of sports goes. It teaches you about who handles the money, how deals come about, etc.
Q. How has preparation for the 2009 season gone so far?
A. I've really been working out hard and getting with the rest of my guys, getting on the same page. I've been trying to improve my knowledge of the game. Playing in the secondary, you have to be able to recognize schemes, and know when the offense is trying to set you up. At this level, everyone is athletic. The people who know more can play faster. They're better off because they don't have to think. They just react. I need to know the playbook like the back of my hand.
Q. You're from Memphis, what is it like for you representing your hometown and home school?
A. To tell you the truth, it's a lot of love. I'm familiar with the surroundings, so I'm always familiar with what's going on around me. I have relatives and friends in the city so if I ever need help or advice, someone is always within arms' reach. My family also gets to see me play. They've supported me from pee-wee to middle school to high school, and now they get to see me play on the next level. It's great they get to experience that.
Q. What are your favorite areas of the city?
A. I'm from Whitehaven, so naturally, I love it there. We call it "The Haven." In Whitehaven, you have everything at your discretion from malls to restaurants.
Q. Where's your favorite place to eat?
A. Probably the Butcher Shop downtown. I got to go there on my recruiting visit. I've never seen a steak that big. I'm a big steak guy, so when I saw that they had 16-ounce and 24-ounce steaks, I was drooling at the mouth. Hopefully, I can get back downtown and get another one of those 24-ounce steaks pretty soon.
Q. What's something maybe we don't know about you?
A. I'm intense on the field because the safety has to call a lot of the shots on defense. Off the field, I'm much more laid back. I like to joke around and play video games with my teammates. We play basketball at the rec center, and we just like to have friendly competition with each other.
Q. What's your favorite video game?
A. I love NCAA Football 2010. That's the hottest game on the market right now. I also love NBA 2K9. It gets very intense at my household when we play against each other.
Q. What team do you play with in NBA 2K9?
A. I've got to run with the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. You can dissect any defense with the Lakers.
Q. What about NCAA Football?
A. I play with Memphis a lot. It's fun when you play with Memphis and you see one of your teammates mess up on the video game. I live with Ronald Leary, our starting tackle, and when he misses a block in the game, I call him in the room, and I'm like, "Ron, Look at you. What was that?" Those are the fun parts. I also run with Florida sometimes. They have one of the highest rated defenses.
Q. You talk about competition. On the field, Memphis' receivers get a lot of notoriety. What's it like competing against them in practice every day?
A. I love it. One thing about our receivers is, they're going to talk. Receivers and defensive backs love to talk a lot anyway, but it's all in good fun. With our receivers you get the best of everything. You get Duke (Calhoun), who is 6'3" and fast. He's also crafty, and he's been around a while. Then with Carlos (Singleton), you don't get many receivers who are 6'8". We have Cam Baker, who is a very fast slot guy. Then Jermaine McKenzie who transferred from Miami is very skilled. He goes up and gets the ball. I practice against all of them to get a feel for all types of players.
Q. Anything else you'd like the fans to know?
A. I'm looking forward to having a breakout year, put Memphis football on the map, and represent my city.
The Tigers will be in full pads for the first time Saturday morning at the Murphy Athletic Complex. The squad opens the season on Sunday, Sept. 6, versus the Ole Miss Rebels. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m., and the game is being carried by ESPN.