I had the pleasure of chopping it up with cornerback Devron Davis (cousin of Vontae & Vernon Davis) from UTSA. He is a big-time sleeper that is rising up draft boards. It was a fun call, and the one thing that definitely stuck out was his swagger. He has the mentality to be good, and the family pedigree as well. It will be interesting to see where he goes. On the right team, he might be able to make an impact right away.
Vik: What’s up guys, this is a Vik with The Big Lead. Excited to jump on today with Devron Davis, he’s from UTSA. This kid’s got some major swag, so this should be a fun call. Let’s kick it off. Hey Devron, what’s going on man?
Devron: Hey, how are you doing?
Vik: I’m doing great, and thanks for jumping on with me today. I’m excited to talk with you, especially with the draft coming up. So with that coming up, how are you feeling? You ready for everything? Has it kind of set in yet?
Devron: Oh man, it’s sort of surreal. I don’t think it’s fully set in but it’s starting to get to that point, 14 days out.
Vik: That’s awesome and it’s every kid’s dream right? Pretty dope. And before we jump into some questions, I love to hear every athlete’s story. Every kid is different, tell me a little bit about yours? How did you get into football? How did you end up at UTSA and what do you love about it?
Devron: I started watching football at a young age. I got a lot of the family in the NFL, that has played in the NFL, and I watched a lot of guys over there with Vernon Davis and Vontae Davis being older than me. I used to watch them in college, in high school, now they are in the NFL turning into pro bowlers and first round picks. I’ve also got my cousin Steven Nelson who went through a little different route. He went to high school, then went to junior college, then went to Oregon State.
So I’ve been watching football my whole life. I started playing as a freshman at Lincoln High School, went to Lincoln, went to Varsity playoffs as a freshman. Played with Brandin Cooks, whose now on the Rams, and I played with Justin, who’s also on the Rams, who went to USC. So my whole life I’ve been around football.
After high school I went the junior college route. Played at junior college, then had every offer in the country. And coming out of junior college they want you to be there in December, but I didn’t qualify fast enough. I had some other offers as well like TCU, Baylor, Boise State and a couple of other schools. And coach Wilson had just got the job at UTSA, left from LSU. And coach Pete Golding, whose at Alabama now, recruited me after he left from Southeastern Louisiana, where he had coached Robert Alford and Harlan Miller. And he called me and was like we need some defensive backs here at UTSA and think you would be a great fit. Coach Wilson brought me on an official visit, and me, him and coach Golding, it was a family environment. Coach Wilson brought me to his house. He did a lot of different things that showed me he just cared about me and not just about football. As he was doing all those things, that’s what made me commit to UTSA. I’m still proud of that decision until this day, as we had a top five defense. I think everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been like that spark, so to say, and we’ve been winning games. I hope to just be that positive leader in the locker room.
Vik: That’s dope man, that’s a great story too. You have a little bit of a football family background; talk a little bit about that? Have you learned a lot from them? Did they give you some tips growing up about the game itself or just the NFL?
Devron: Yes, Vontae and Vernon and Steve they all tell me it’s a profession and you got to come to work every day. Work hard and work diligently, be in the film room 24/7 learning and just getting better. Everybody in the NFL can play. It’s the guys that are putting the extra work in, in the film and are doing the extra things that are necessary to be the best. Those are the guys who make the plays on Sundays like Antonio Brown or Marcus Peters or all those guys, those are real film junkies and they outwork people off the field as well.
Vik: That’s awesome, and that’s great advice. Sometimes it helps a lot when it’s coming from someone you know, that’s big. I’ve been watching a lot of your film, one thing that definitely sticks out is how physical you are. Where’d that come from? Is that just something you picked up on your own, just from how you grew up or where you came from? Or is that just your mentality? Or are you trying to model your game after someone?
Devron: I think it’s a little bit of both. Where I came from in Stockton, California that’s the not the best place, highest murder rate, just a grimy kind of city, but there are some good pieces too. It’s the kind of standouts like Brandin Cooks and Doug Martin and a lot of guys that have made it out of here.
I think the city gives you that sort of mentality and as a football player I’m a passionate person, really feel like physicality is a big part of the game. I used to watch guys like John Lynch, Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson, and Steve Atwater. Guys that just want to hit and want to be be physical. I bring some of that mentality in everything, I want to be physical and I think that is how you will your opponent and force them to do things and make them uncomfortable. That’s how you win the games.
Vik: I love that you kind of mentioned some old-school guys, because I’m a little older than you, those are some guys I grew up watching. Those are all monsters. So if there’s one game you can tell me about…you come from a smaller school, there’s less eyeballs on you sometimes, less publicity. If there’s one game you could tell some scouts to check out, just from the season or your career, is there a game that sticks out for you?
Devron: Yes. You could go back to that Texas A &M game. They were once ranked the number four team in the country. They were supposed to be in the playoffs, they barely lost to Alabama, and they’d been consistently one of the top teams in the country every year.
They had a receiver that was the SEC leading receiver, dominating guys from Alabama, from LSU, from all these top teams and prospects in the draft, dominating them. Then you got this kid from UTSA, from Stockton, California, who comes and guards him, and he’s not having those hundred yard games with two touchdowns and big plays.
I think that’s one game that really stands out, how dominating I was. You’ve got Christian Kirk, Corey Robertson and N’Keal Harry from Arizona State, you got that game even Richie James at Middle Tennessee. I’ve been across a lot of talent over my two-year span at UTSA and also at junior college, I was a JUCO All-American and dominated at that level. Everywhere I’ve went, I’ve dominated. I think the proof is in the pudding. No level is really too fast, you know, college football was very slow for me. I think you can come and see it kind of in my film, the stuff I’m doing before the plays and after. Maybe the NFL may be faster, maybe not.
Vik: Hey man that’s the attitude you got to have and I love some of the battles that you had in college, especially against Kirk. That was pretty dope to see, but when you come from a smaller school sometimes to random people they see that compared to some of the bigger names and they’re just like “who is this kid?”
Where do you see yourself at the next level? Just looking at mock drafts, and I’m sure you are hearing a lot of noise as a lot of people are calling you a big sleeper, you are shooting up some boards, and I know you’ve had some good meetings. How do you see yourself next year, fitting in?
Devron: I’m here to prove that I’m not only the best corner, but I’m the best DB in this draft. I have shown that I’m very flexible, I can play nickel, I can play corner, I can play safety. I can do everything, and I’ve shown all the traits of a promising defensive back in the NFL. The physicality, the ball skills, the swagger, the confidence, you can’t really teach those. You got guys that might have one or two of those qualities, but never all of them together. Look at all the things that I possess, and I do it quite easily because that’s just who I am.
Vik: That’s the mentality you need, to be good at that position if you think about all the guys that have been good there. Let’s have some fun. I’m a big Chicago guy, I’m a big Bears fan, I do a lot of Bears stuff. If the Bears draft you, are you ready for that? What do you know about the Chicago Bears?
Devron: Chicago Bears, you got Fuller over there, that’s a really solid corner. I think they could use some help in the secondary. You got Eddie Jackson. who is a great piece as well, who fell, really great skills for you guys. You got a lot of building blocks with Trubisky and all those guys. If I was a Bear, I’d bring back that big physical mentality you guys had in Brian Urlacher and Briggs and all those guys.
That’s kind of what I am, I’m a spark plug, like I was saying, everywhere I’ve went, I’ve helped the team get better in every sense. Drafting me is only going to help your team get better and only help the defense overall in general.
Vik: I like that you named some current guys and also that you named some of my guys that I loved like Urlacher and Briggs. That’s kind of what Chicago’s defense is known for, bringing the wood and the Monsters of the Midway, and it’s time to get back to that a little bit. And you’re right, we need some secondary help, which would be perfect.
Let’s have some fun, let’s talk some general stuff. Have you had some Chicago deep-dish pizza yet?
Devron: No I never had it before, but I definitely want to try it.
Vik: All right, if you get drafted here, I’m going to take you out for some. It’s better than anything you’ve had, so we got to get you guys some of that.
Vik: How about pregame stuff? What are you listening to before games, or are you superstitious, do you have a routine? What do you do on game days?
Devron: I’m definitely into music. I’m a big Meek Mill guy. I like Meek Mill; I like all those motivational songs. I’m a big Meek Mill guy, I might listen to some Michael Jackson every now and then or Future is big. I like listening to guys that talk about motivational stuff and coming from the bottom and just making their way to the top as that’s kind of my situation. I love guys like that.
Vik: Nice man, they’re saying Meek Mill might be out on Monday, have you heard?
Devron: Yes, I have seen Robert Kraft visiting and the 76ers owner, so that’s really cool to see them trying to make a difference.
Vik: Hopefully he’s out soon. Ok, just couple last things. What do you do besides football for fun? Are you into video games? Or what are you doing just outside of football to kind of just hang out, do your thing?
Devron: I’m so much of a film junkie, that’s 90%, but if I’m doing something, you know this Fortnite thing is pretty big. Me and Derrius Guice be playing it, we got guys like Tre’Davious White playing it. I’m really familiar with the LSU guys.
Vik: That’s the game I was going to ask you about, everyone’s into Fortnite right now, you see it all over Twitter, so that’s cool that you’re into it. But football comes first right, you’re watching film, I love your answer about that too.
It’s been great talking to you, wishing you all the best. I’ll be rooting for you for sure, hoping the Bears can pick you up. Like I said, if you get drafted by the Bears, we’re going out for some pizza.
Devron: Okay thank you, I appreciate your having me and taking your time to talk to me.
Vik: Good luck with everything in the next few weeks. Soak it in and enjoy it a little bit.
Devron: All right appreciate it. God bless you.
*Edited for clarity