Davis out to stay cool

davis

davis

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

If DeVone Claybrooks is right, Torrey Davis is going to have to get used to the test he failed last week.

There can’t be anymore losing the cool, retaliating with shoves or grabs, and the Calgary Stampeders defensive tackle certainly can’t throw punches.

Now that Davis has emerged as someone to reckon with along the Stamps front four, he will be pushed to the edge by opposition linemen.

Unlike the play where he was dinged for an unnecessary roughness penalty last Thursday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Davis has to fight back with sacks, not attacks.

“We have to keep our cool because the second guy gets called,” said Claybrooks, the Stampeders’ defensive-line coach.

“In that instance, we were the second guy. He has to adjust to that. As he improves as a player, guys will try to take him out of his gameplan.

“He’s a young guy but he’s anxious to learn and he always listens. He’s been playing well.”

Davis has gone through plenty of life lessons in his journey to become a professional football player.

His major college stint at Florida ended after two seasons when Urban Meyer booted him off the Gators.

As the No. 1 rated high school prospect in Florida (Rivals.coms had him ninth nationally), the Tampa native made a splash with a touchdown-saving tackle in the 2008 National Championship game against Oklahoma.

But academic and disciplinary issues caused him to miss games and he got the boot at the end of his second season with the Gators.

While out of college, and out of football after a failed tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Davis had a variety of jobs, finally landing as a overnight security guard at an orange plantation.

“I had a lot of mishaps and I wasn’t focused,” Davis said.

“A lot of times in college, I either wasn’t playing or wasn’t starting. I had some problems of my own keeping me off the field. I never got the chance to make plays. I’m taking my turn coming out here.

“I had a tryout with the Bucs and I don’t think I was ready for it. I had to learn how to be a pro on and off the field and they are giving me the chance to do that here. It’s a long journey but I’m still young. I’m committed to what I need to do here.”

Davis is only 23 and is now blossoming in his second season with the Stamps. He played in 10 games as a rookie, working in a rotation, often with Claybrooks.

It took some time getting used to playing football again, so there were plenty of practice scuffles. In fact, if there was a tussle in practice, Davis was always near the confrontation.

He’s changed his ways this season, which made his penalty against the Riders seem uncharacteristic.

“Last year, I was hungry,” Davis said. “I sat at home an entire year looking for work. Things were hard. When I came up here, I had a lot of aggression built up.

“Football is my way of letting it loose. I was getting out my anger.”

During his year away from the game, Davis did “anything I could to earn some type of living,” which included going door to door as a security alarm salesman. That job lasted one day as a near dog-biting incident made him quit. He bounced from construction jobs to cutting lawns, and finally found the job as a security guard.

It’s night and day to where he is now.

“This is more in line with what I want to do,” Davis said. “A year and a half ago, I wasn’t playing any football.

“Now I’m playing every week and getting the majority of the snaps. I think I’m doing now what I didn’t do in college. I’m reliving some of the things I dreamed of doing when I take the field up here.”

 


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