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No. 27 -- DT Carl Davis
DEFENSIVE TACKLE CARL DAVIS
Arrival: When Iowa signed the 6-5, 310-pounder in 2010, the Hawkeyes hadn't brought in a fully loaded defensive tackle since Colin Cole in '99. That worked out pretty well.
During an interview after signing day, Davis called himself a “late bloomer” in football. He only started getting serious about the game around 2008. During his junior season for Adlai Stevenson (Sterling Heights, Mich.) High School, he played defensive and offensive tackle while helping the school to the Division I state finals where it fell to Detroit Catholic Central, 31-21. He had 58 tackles and seven sacks. He also had 11 scholarship offers including Wisconsin, Michigan State and Illinois.
The conversation showed an acute awareness of technique.
“I believe I play low and am quick on my feet as far as pass rushing,” Davis said. “When it comes to run blocking, I have advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to pass rushing, I play well. Usually, I was quicker than my opponents. Or my arm length was too much for them. I could push, pull and throw them away anyway I want to.”
Takeoff 2012: Davis hasn't seen meaningful minutes on the field. He'll be a third-year sophomore this fall coming off a knee surgery in January. On the knee, Iowa coaches were in "all systems go" mode.
The skill remains a question mark. The knee kept him off the field for the last five games of 2011. He also missed spring.
"The expectations for him will be extremely high because he's played, but he is a young guy," first-year D-line coach Reese Morgan said this spring. "He is a young guy, but I'm impressed with his knowledge of the defense and the fundamentals."
Davis is rated No. 27 on this list because of what he could mean to the '12 Hawkeyes.
The "help wanted" sign is up on the defensive line. As of now, the tackles are redshirt freshman Darian Cooper and either sophomore Louis Trinca-Pasat or senior Steve Bigach. Or maybe true freshman Jaleel Johnson, who weighed in at 320.
If Davis arrives on the field this fall, he'd be a super bonus for a D-line that needs bodies and he would be immediate help. The health and skill need to come along with a body that was ready-made DT.