GAINESVILLE -- Jarrad Davis is an instinctive thumper at linebacker.
The 6-2, 230-pound junior shoots gaps like a heat-seeking missile, and the weakside linebacker is enjoying an early breakout campaign in 2015.
After riding the bench due to injuries and strange coaches’ decisions the last two seasons, Davis leads the Gators in tackles (14) this season, recording 10 stops and 2.5 for loss in last weekend’s win over East Carolina.
Earlier this week, Davis spoke on overcoming last year's serious knee injury, his improvement, replacing injured linebacker Alex Anzalone’s production, the challenge UK presents and more.
On coming off last season’s knee injury:
"It's a lot more fun than sitting. Being out there in the action feels like old times. I was down for eight months. I didn't play football for eight months. Now that I've got the opportunity to go out and do what I love to do is awesome, just awesome. I'm just embracing the moment. … I started playing football when I was six-years-old. It was the longest time without football, eight months. I went crazy. It was hard. It was tough. It's something I don't ever want to have to go through again."
On his instincts:
"It's watching film throughout the week, making sure I'm up on my keys. Anyone can play fast if they know what they're looking at. It's like a car can't go without the key in the ignition. Watching film all week helps me make those plays.”
On replacing junior linebacker Alex Anzalone:
“Athletically, he was at the top of his game. He was outdoing almost everybody on the team in the linebacker spot. He’s a freak. He knows the game and he can go out there and perform. It’s hard for us to replace a guy like that, but we just have to make sure we play to the best of our abilities every time we step on the field and we’re not going to have an issue.”
On the “third test” of the season:
“We want to be in Atlanta and we want to be in the playoffs at the end of the season. That’s what we want to do. We’re in the third step of a 15-step process. That’s how I look. This is game three and we want 15 in that slate, 15-0. The stakes get higher. This game is the utmost important of the game of the season because it’s here and now.”
On playing against a competitive UK team:
“This is definitely going to be a challenge, especially going to their place. We have to make sure we’re really up all game. We can’t really mess around this week. Like I said, this is the utmost most important game of the season.”
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