Jordan Davis steals the show
HOOVER, Ala. – Most reporters attending SEC Media Days were no doubt more interested in what Georgia quarterback JT Daniels had to say, but it was nose guard Jordan Davis who stole the show.
For teammates, coaches, and friends of the affable Charlotte senior, seeing Davis hold court in the manner he did Tuesday certainly comes as no surprise. However, for folks just now learning about the big man, watching him regale those in attendance with his quick wit and honest responses was a welcome treat.
Even head coach Kirby Smart was not spared from Davis’ good-natured barbs.
When asked about the fact Smart has Atlanta rapper Quavo’s cell number in his phone, Davis joked it’s important to keep that bit of info in perspective.
“I think definitely him (Smart) and Quavo having a connection is cool, but I don't think Kirby could name a song that Quavo has been on,” Davis said. “But just having that connection is nice.”
Nobody has to tell Davis to be appreciative of the position he finds himself in.
Few would have batted an eye had Davis decided to forgo his senior year and apply for the NFL Draft. Perhaps they should have been.
Per Davis, he honestly never gave it a ton of thought. Teammate and close friend Devonte Wyatt, who elected to accept the NCAA’s Covid waiver and return for one final season, was a big reason why.
“Honestly, I remember one night I was talking to Devonte, and I asked him, ‘Hey man, are we going to do this?’ He was like, ‘Yeah,' and I was like, 'OK, cool,’” Davis said. “Devonte’s my dawg, he’s my ride or die, and that night, I was like, you know what, I can’t leave Devonte like that. It’s another love for him.
"All the players, I love them, they’re my family. It was an easy decision. I didn’t spend much time on it.”
For the amount of time Davis did consider the pros, Smart said he handled his options as well as anyone could.
“Jordan was very deliberate about 'I want to get information, Coach. I'm not making a decision prior to.' In this day and age, I don't know that happens all the time. I think a lot of kids make their mind up, it's a predetermined decision, and he didn't do it that way,” Smart said. “He's got wonderful guidance at home. His mom, Miss Shay, that's his Why. Tray Scott has done a wonderful job with his relationship with Jordan. Jordan wanted to graduate. It's really important to him that he graduates. He wanted to have a better season. He wanted the opportunity to do what so many SEC players have been able to do, to move up, and a lot of times the financial reward for moving up is greater than going right where he is.”
Davis’ story is a familiar one to Bulldog fans.
Although he arrived in Athens with great size, other than coaches, few realized the potential of Davis, a former three-star prospect who, despite also having offers from the likes of Florida and Michigan, was not predicted to become a huge star.
Many figured Davis’ biggest fight would be the battle of the bulge. But thanks to hard work, the former 370-pound player is down to a svelte 320 and in about as good a shape for a man his size as he can be.
“You definitely see the game differently as you move on and get more experience, how to carry yourself. It’s more about the off-field as it is the on-field for me right now,” Davis said. “I’m learning how to eat right. Shoot, I’m drinking smoothies and juices with vegetables and I don’t even like vegetables. But I’m telling myself I’ve got to get it, I’ve got to do it, do whatever it takes to win, and try to emulate myself to be like a pro in college. It’s all about doing the little things right. The little things are the big things, and I’m trying to do that.”
Davis acknowledged he’s surprised even himself.
“I was just thinking on the ride here, if you'd asked me in high school if I would be in this position, I’d have told you no. The transition was hard, but I had people who helped me along the way,” Davis said. “I didn’t expect to get this far. Coming from Charlotte, I only saw the ceiling as this high (barely raising his arm). When I got here, they told me you can really go far if you put the work in.”
Putting in work is Davis' only concern.
With his work ethic, his stature, and good-natured personality, one would think Davis would be a shoo-in to receive a number offers that comply with the new Name, Image and Likeness legislation.
However, that’s not Davis’ game.
To the surprise of many, the senior revealed that not only does he not have an NIL deal in place, but it’s not an area he plans to focus on.
“I definitely think the NIL thing is a great addition to the NCAA. It gives us an opportunity to use our platform for profit, but in terms of me, I haven't touched it. I'm confused by it, honestly,” Davis said. “It's a lot. But, yeah, I haven't really done anything. My main focus is just playing because you can't get an NIL deal if you're not good at football. So, the main focus is just playing football.”
That’s not to say that Davis is unaware of the benefits.
“I can only speak for myself. I can't speak for others. Me, personally, I'm not really too big on social media. Like I literally got back on just for this event,” he said. “I definitely think it does have some influence, but I feel like our culture in Georgia is, we want to keep the main thing. The main thing is something that we always go back to, and it's more than NIL. We want to play. We want to ball. We want to win.”