Every Tuesday over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2012-13 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling linebacker Dyshawn Davis.
After finishing last season with five straight losses, falling short of post season play, the Orange enters the 2012-13 season with something to prove.
Dyshawn Davis says he and his defense were inspired by the rocky start to work harder in anticipation of the upcoming season.
“I felt like the spring was a good spring for the defense,” he said. “We all just have that grounded mentality that we all just have to get better as a unit.”
Davis puts a lot of the blame of the last five games of last season on the defense but he admits that they were young and inexperienced. With another year of experience under their belts, he says it’s time for them to dominate.
“I just feel like as a defense, we all know what we have to do,” he said. “We’re not young anymore, there’s no more excuses.”
As a sophomore, Davis only has one year of experience, but head coach Doug Marrone has confidence that Davis can lead the defense.
“Dyshawn Davis runs as well as any linebacker than I’ve ever been around on the field,” Marrone said. It’s going to take that athleticism from him and his teammates to carry the still-young defense.
Inside Slant: Like Marrone said, Davis is extremely fast. But that isn’t even his best asset. Davis is an extremely hard hitter and we learned that last season when he started all twelve games during his freshman year. Expect Davis to make a similar impact during this upcoming season. With another summer in the weight room, more practice can only make him better. Davis was one of the few players that didn’t slow down last season for the Orange. He was consistent even when the team struggled during the last few games. He will be the rock the young defense needs next season.
Career Highlights: Davis played in all 12 games in the 2011 season, leading the team with 10.5 tackles for a loss. He finished the season with 27 solo tackles and four sacks. Against Rutgers, he made a huge hit, forcing a fumble that led to an Orange touchdown. He won the ‘Cuse Award for Male Rookie of the Year.Ben Glidden