IOWA CITY, Ia. As much as Carl Davis wants to treat this like any other week, he can’t.
The defensive tackle from Sterling Heights, Mich., riled some family members when he decided to play football for Iowa, and Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Michigan State is bound to dredge up old feelings.
“I’ve got some people who were upset I didn’t go to Michigan State,” Davis said with an easy-going grin, “but it was my decision at the end of the day.
“I’m glad where I’m at.”
Davis found a home on the Hawkeyes’ defensive line, contributing to a unit that ranks seventh nationally against the run, allowing 79.2 yards per game.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound junior has size and skills similar to former Spartans star Jerel Worthy, who became a second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers.
“Big, physical — reminds you a little of Jerel Worthy in some ways,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told the Detroit Free Press, “especially thus far this year.”
Davis recorded 15 tackles in Iowa’s first five games — a statistical breakthrough for a once raw prospect, hampered by injuries.
“I think the biggest thing with Carl is just mentally preparing himself for playing a whole game,” Hawkeye defensive end Dominic Alvis said. “He’d shown glimpses here and there.
“This is the first year he’s really taken off and been able to play a full game, and dominate.”
Davis began this season with 16 career tackles in 17 games.
Patience and perseverance helped Davis realize his potential.
“I always knew I was decent,” Davis said. “It was just a matter of time before I developed and understood the defense.
“It took a lot of film study this offseason. I want to be able to know as much as the linebackers know.”
Davis became a student of the game after arriving at Iowa in 2010. He was recruited by current defensive coordinator Phil Parker and chose the Hawkeyes over Michigan State and Wisconsin.
“In high school, I could just rush gaps and use my weight to an advantage,” Davis said. “(At Iowa), I had to actually buy into the system.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football