December 16, 2006

Chris Davis talks about playing center

With the indefinite suspension of backup redshirt freshman
center Ian Smith, freshman guard Chris Davis now has a chance
to become the starting center next season in Athens. UGASports caught up with
Davis to ask him about his new position and dealing with changes on the team.

When did you find out that you were going to play center?

"I have been snapping before practice with the
centers to get a feel for snapping, but Thursday was the first day I did plays
and pass pro as a center and did nothing but center."

How difficult is the center position versus playing guard?

"The thing about playing center is that you cannot
get a bad snap back. You have to be some much quicker at center because the
nose-guards get up on you so much quicker and you have to learn to get that
other hand up. It is a whole different ball game and you would not think so
from moving one spot over."

How difficult is it to give line assignments and working
on the snap count with the quarterback?

"Honestly I hardly know what to do myself and I
am spending this bowl practice learning how to think quicker and pickup the
blocking schemes and learn what to do. I am still trying to get the concept
of the playbook and that is what I am going to do in bowl practice."

Is a complement about your development that the coaching
staff wants to move you to center?

"I would probably guess it is what we have coming
in and I would guess that we have a bunch of tackles and guards coming in and
not a lot of centers. They want to experiment with people to see where they
might be able to go and who works best at what position."

What do you think about offensive line coach Neil
Callaway possibly taking the UAB heading coaching job?

"I do not think he is going to leave and I would
hate to see him leave. I really respect coach Callaway and all I hear from the
upperclassmen is how respected he is around here. He is a great coach and it
would be heartbreaking to see him leave especially after this first year here
with him. I would love to spend every year with the same coach."

How is Ian Smith handling his suspension and what is
that like for you as his teammate?

"He is handling it pretty well, we are all humans,
and we all make mistakes. He just has to learn from it, he has some consequences
he has to face, and he will have to deal with it himself. It is his mistake,
he is a man, and he will handle it. I think it will be alright."

Do you think you have a good shot at winning the center
job over Fernando Velasco in the spring?

"It all depends on how I work in offseason workouts
and mat drills. I have not gone through mat drills yet and I would hope that
I could do it, but you never know. We have a long way to go, it is all up to
the individual, and I have stood by that all my life. Nobody can dictate what
you can do and if you work hard things will fall were they will."

Is the possibility of starting exciting?

"Yes, I would be crazy for me not to be excited.
Everyone here wants to play and that is the main goal here playing and winning
championships. Having a chance to play next year adds extra will for me to work
because I have that opportunity and I do not want to lose it."

Will that make up for spending all this season get beat
up by the first and second team?

"Early on I was like I am on scout team and I am
going to get beat up, but honestly with a year under my belt I will be the first
to say I was not ready. I was not physically or mentally ready to play and I
understand that now."

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