Auburn freshman defensive back Javaris Davis came awfully close to seeing the field in 2015.
For a depleted Tigers' secondary, Davis was the next man up by the end of the regular season.
“If we got in a situation in a game Javaris Davis, we would pull him out of a redshirt,” former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said.
Muschamp didn’t have to call Davis’ number, but Auburn’s veteran defenders believed the freshman was ready to face Division 1 competition.
“He’s explosive,” Auburn defensive back Jonathan Jones said. “He reminds me of myself — fast, being able to get out of his cuts and stuff like that. He’s definitely explosive, someone to look forward to.”
Davis’ explosiveness isn’t that surprising considering the former 4-star recruit was a standout track athlete at Ed White High School in Florida in addition to being a two-way starter for the football team.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder picked Auburn over of dozens of offers including ones from power five schools including Louisville, Miami, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ohio State and USC.
Auburn senior Blake Countess was impressed by the way Davis bounced back from a challenging fall camp.
“He's kind of like my little brother,” Countess said. “Javaris is a guy that probably could have played and probably should have played but for whatever reason, he had some family issues during camp and fell behind in the playbook.”
While the defense will have to adjust to new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, Countess said Davis is well positioned to make an impact in the fall.
“Javaris has come along really well,” Countess said. “He's never complained. He's just put his head down and worked hard all season. He's taken reps all season with the defensive group so I don't think there's any drop-off right there. He knows what's expected of him coming into next year and he's done a great job these bowl practices of kind of stepping up and separating himself from some of the other guys.”