Expect a lot more production out of Jordan Davis in year three

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Expect a lot more production out of Jordan Davis in year three

Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Wed., Aug. 26, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)
Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Wed., Aug. 26, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

Georgia junior nose tackle Jordan Davis is heading into his third season with the program and he insists that the 2020 season will be his best yet.

Davis displayed that level of confidence in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday, but admitted that he knows that a lot of weight rests on his shoulders.

“Definitely. I know it’s a lot of pressure on me,” Davis said when asked if he will have a breakout year. “But I put a lot of pressure on myself for this year, especially maintaining my weight and getting active. I’m running a lot more, trying to run a lot faster during practice and trying to compete. I feel like everything will fall into place once the season starts rolling around.”

You can easily see why all the pressure is on for Davis to be dominant in his junior campaign. He’s now one of the older members on a talented defensive line and is the projected starter at nose tackle.

Georgia lost several members of the last season’s defensive line, including Michael Barnett, Tyler Clark and David Marshall. This year’s unit is pretty young, although Davis acknowledged that he sees no difference in this year’s squad in comparison to 2019.

“I don’t see any difference,” Davis said. “We play the same role. Dan [Lanning], when he calls the frame work of the defense we play between it. There’s really no drop off, no changes. We’re still playing the same plays, same calls. It’s really the mentality for us. We want to create havoc so if we have a ‘dawg’ mentality it’s always going to be with us.”

Jordan Davis (99) in pursuit of Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) in Georgia's 23-17 win.
Jordan Davis (99) in pursuit of Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) in Georgia’s 23-17 win.

Regarding Georgia’s defense a whole, Davis said that this year’s unit has a ton of depth.

“..We have a lot of depth,” said Davis. “A lot of young players are coming up and filling roles. We have to keep that next man up mentality. Everything with [COVID-19], anything can happen this season, but I can say that the young boys are really buying in, chipping in and it’s been fun to coach them and play with them so I can say depth for us this year. We are in too deep.”

Davis is also elated that the team has a lot of experience as well.

“We play the same role. Dan [Lanning], when he calls the framework of the defense, we play between it. There’s really no drop off, no changes,” he said. “We’re still playing the same plays, same calls. It’s really the mentality for us. We want to create havoc, so if we have a ‘Dawg’ mentality, it’s always going to be with us.”

A huge problem for Davis over the past couple of years is that he’s been battling his weight. Currently, he’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 33 pounds. In the interview, he did talk about how it’s been a problem for him in the past.

“For myself, with quarantine, it was hard to keep my weight in check. But we got it back down, regulated,” he said. “It’s just trying to progress every day. Move that chip lower and lower, move faster and faster every day. I will look at myself in the mirror sometimes and be like, ‘Dang, you’re really slimming up.’ So, it’s good to see the progression.”

You would think he would be tired of hearing it, but he seemed comfortable talking about the subject.

“Talking about it’s not an issue for me; it’s more of a motivation for me,” he said. “I just want to make sure I’m in the best position and condition I can be for the team.”

Head coach Kirby Smart made a comment about the situation earlier this year.

“Weight is always going to be a struggle and a fight for him,” Smart said back in March. “When you say you’ve seen him, he’s ready to play, I don’t know if you’ve seen him lately, but he’s got to be ready to play. He’s got to control his weight and he’s done a really good job of having weight discipline thus far in his career. He’s got to continue to do that.”

With all that said, Davis apparently reported to fall camp in fantastic shape. No wonder Dan Lanning is excited to see what Davis will be able to do on the field this season.

“I have really high expectations for Jordan. Jordan’s worked really hard,” defensive coordinator Dan Lanning told reporters last month. “Tray Scott does a phenomenal job, (he) and coach Williams, do a great job with his development. But Jordan, I think, is really hungry. There’s just not a lot of people born in this world that look like Jordan Davis, right? So when you look like that there’s an expectation. I expect him to really achieve at the highest level this year, have a phenomenal season, and really help our team and our defense.”

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.