James Davidson was a safety in high school. Redshirting his first year, he began the process of converting his body to play linebacker. With a year of weights and play on the scout team, he was chomping at the bit to hit the field and put his newly acquired linebacking skills to work this season. At 6' 3" and 247 pounds, he is a combination of speed and power. He has clocked a 4.48 second 40 yard time. Unfortunately for him, the Miners are pretty well stocked at the linebacker position.
A couple of weeks ago, he was moved up to the defensive line. Playing at the defensive end position allows the coaches to utilize that speed and strength. I asked him how the transition to defensive end was going.
"It is going pretty good, actually. You know, I'm learning the plays pretty well. I'm learning new techniques. It's actually pretty fun. They just say, the quarterback's wearing red, go get him."
I mentioned the move taking advantage of his combination of speed and strength, here's what he said.
"Yeah, I think so, too. I mean, I'm still learning some techniques but I really feel like I'm getting them down. Everything is different in a game, but the more reps I get on the d-line, the more used to it I am."
When defensive back DeShawn Grayson came by, he threw his two cents into the pot.
"He's a beast. He's doing his thing."
Davidson is also a world class kick boxer, and isn't shy about contact. In a recent game an opposing player felt it. Grayson commented on that.
"That's what he do (does). That's why his name is The Karate Kid."
Davidson spoke about the upcoming trip to Marshall, and the challenge for him and the Miners defense.
"They have two quarterbacks, number 12(Brian Anderson) and number 8(Eddie Sullivan). Number 8 is more of a running type, so 12 is more of a pro-style. Number 12 has two receivers they like to throw to, but this game they're going to play number 8. The reason they are going to play number 8 is because they feel like they can run the ball against us. They feel like they have a better chance of running the ball than they do passing the ball. So, that's the person they're going to play."
That's going to give you a chance to get some more work.
He spoke about the positive effect of getting some injured players back from the sidelines.
"Oh yeah. Injuries have been killing us, this year."
He spoke about Marshall trying to run the ball against the Miners' defense.
"They're going to try and run on us again (as did UAB and Tulane the past two games). But, you know, we actually have a lot of our defensive coming back. We're actually a lot more healed up than we were. . .I really feel good about this game."
With some key players, both on offense and on defense returning from injuries, I agree. I feel pretty good about this game, too.
The video interview is in two parts;