Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp offered passionate words of encouragement for freshman defensive back Carlton Davis Sunday night.
In Davis’ post-game media session with reporters, the corner showed every ounce of the disappointment he felt over giving up what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in the fourth overtime period of a 54-46 loss to Drew Morgan.
The freshman put the loss on his shoulders, and said it felt like a “nagging stab” to have let his teammates down.
Muschamp, who has spoken about Davis’ upside on numerous occasions, offered up his strongest assessment yet of the freshman’s play this season, and his character.
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“You know what, I wish we had a lot more like Carlton; tough, competitive, football instincts, football IQ, OK?” Muschamp said. “And that guy’s got it. And you know what? It is important to him. Wish we had more like him.”
The conviction in Muschamp’s voice was in sharp contrast to his measured tone previewing Ole Miss, and going over areas where the defense struggled against Arkansas.
Davis’ own passion is something Muschamp said “stands out to me.”
“I’m just complimenting a player that obviously it’s really, really, really important to him to be very successful and it starts with winning and it starts with his football team and how we perform,” Muschamp said.
Muschamp added that Davis wasn’t the only player dejected after the lose, but he took that as a good sign of how the defense will respond to its latest setback.
“I saw extremely hurt and disappointed group, which is good,” Muschamp said. “I've been in some other situations before in my coaching career, and you walked in Sunday and you wondered whether you won or lost. The group today was a dejected bunch, and to me that's a positive because it's important to them. All the signs for this football team is it is going to continue to fight.”