Bethune Cookman NFL Draft Prospect DE, Ryan Davis Interview
Ryan Davis played college football in the MEAC at Bethune Cookman University. He was recruited to play TE at BCU, but ended up making the switch to defensive end/outside linebacker. During his four year career, he totaled he was there, he totaled 190 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks, and forced twelve fumbles. During his senior season, he was nominated to be the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. He is entering the 2012 NFL Draft, and projected to go in the mid-rounds. The interview was conducted before the 2012 NFL Draft. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Davis : I connect with the fans through different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. When they write me, I try to write back to them. However, I don’t think I’m that big to call these people fans yet… They are my friends.
Strauss : How did you start playing football?
Davis : It started back in 1997 when my father signed me up to play little league football. I was a little timid at first, but I went out there and just tried to play my heart out.
Strauss : What was a situation of adversity that you faced growing up?
Davis : My father died when I was thirteen. He hasn’t been here to see me excel this far in football. He was very influential in my life, especially the morals and values that he taught me at such a young age. I still live by those things today, and that’s how I keep his name alive. I try to make him proud. That has made me better as a man and as a player.
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Davis : It was great. I felt underrated at times because I felt that our high school record didn’t reflect how good of a player I was and how good we were as a whole, but for the most part I loved it. I loved everything from the players to the coaches. They were all great people outside of football too.
Strauss : What was your recruiting experience like?
Davis : I was heavily recruited by major programs coming out of high school, mainly to play tight end. I was a late qualifier and Bethune Cookman was the only school to offer so I took it and ran with it. I’m forever thankful for that.
Strauss : What was the transition like to Bethune Cookman?
Davis : It wasn’t that much of a huge transition, I came from a high school that was predominantly black so coming here was natural to me, as far as football, it was a little bit of a shock because I used to be the guy on campus and now I’m the new guy who has to earn respect.
Strauss : What was your first camp like at BCU?
Davis : Hoooott!!! That about sums it up. I’ll never forget that camp. It definitely weeded out the men from the boys because you had to be tough to endure that camp.
Strauss : What was it like stepping on the field for your first ever college start?
Davis : I was nervous, but once I made my first play I knew that this is where I belong.
Strauss : What is a good memory you can share off the field at BCU?
Davis : We were at the airport about to fly to another game. The escalator stopped working because there was apparently too much weight on it. Then suddenly, it started moving backwards. I was caught in the middle and I had a decision to make, either ride it down or run up. I ran up, but it was pretty funny as we all laughed about what happened that day.
Strauss : How did you improve your game from your junior to senior season?
Davis : I really got into the film room and put in some hours alone and studied my craft. I evaluated myself as honest as I could. I was always a hard worker and great listener, but I knew that I would have to do extra things if I wanted to be dominant in my final season.
Strauss : What was your senior season like?
Davis : It was great. I enjoyed it a lot and I’m going to cherish every moment from it. I knew big things were coming this season, but I didn’t know things were going to take off like they had.
Strauss : What was it like to receive MEAC honors during your senior season?
Davis : It was great. For me personally, I tried not to focus on that during the year because I didn’t want it to become a distraction.
Strauss : Which was your favorite award that you received?
Davis : The accolades I received after the Norfolk State game.
Strauss : What was it like to be MEAC Defensive Player of the Year?
Davis : It is a great honor as only a selected few can ever say they were player of the year in this conference. I was actually notified through Twitter when I won the award. I was late to find out. All of my friends were tweeting me and I just gave my girlfriend a big hug and called my mom at that point.
Strauss : What is your favorite sack from Bethune Cookman?
Davis : My favorite sack would be this year against Norfolk, I was double-teamed and I came around the edge and stripped the ball from Chris Walley, the Offensive Player of the Year in the MEAC. I actually joked with him about that during the HBCU Bowl in Atlanta.
Strauss : If a team called you up and said, ‘Why should we draft you?’ What is the best answer you have for them?
Davis : I’m a guy of faith and character. My mother and father raised me up to be a man of God and no matter where life takes me that will remain the same, and I can also rush the passer.
Strauss : If a scout told you to choose someone in the NFL that you compare your game to, who would you choose and why?
Davis : I’d say Robert Mathis of the Colts. I choose him because he went the route I’m trying to go, he came from an HBCU and has won a Super Bowl. He is consistent year-in and year-out. He is a relentless pass rusher and is always in the opponent’s backfield. I am not on his level yet, but he is someone whom I truly enjoy watching and studying.
Strauss : If you had to describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Davis : Man, this is tough… (laughs)… I would probably be chocolate because I’m a dark skin guy, I guess… Oh, and my girlfriend loves chocolate ice cream (laughs).
Strauss : For someone who wants to play football to eventually make the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
Davis : Continue to pray and do everything your coaches ask of you. Once you do that, exceed their expectations and create your own lane but within the team concept. Stand out, but don’t be selfish. Be a team player and work hard when no one is looking because it really does pay off.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that we have not talked about?
Davis : Just continue to pray for me, not only as a football player, but as a man that’s trying to do something positive in his life. I lost a lot of friends either to the street life and some of them are dead, and I just want to represent to those back home. I want to show that no matter the situation, there is hope and it is okay to do the right things and in order to create your own path.
Strauss : Thank you for taking the time! I really appreciate it.
Davis : Not a problem. I enjoyed them. Thank you.
->Here are the personal questions that Ryan Davis answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
Davis : I’m going to choose two… Nicki Minaj and Meagan Good. I have a huge celebrity crush on both of them because they are both very attractive.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Davis : Growing up, my childhood stars were the Power Rangers. I loved them as a little kid.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?
Davis : Family Guy because of Stewie… enough said haha.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?
Davis : That’s a tough question. If you were to ask me this ten times, you’d get ten different answers… but for now, I’m going with Step Brothers, because Will Ferrell is one of my favorite actors and the movie was extremely funny.
Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?
Davis : I really like pumpkin pie.
Strauss : What would be your last meal on earth?
Davis : I’d want ten wings and fries from Gyros in Tampa, with a big cup of sweet tea.
Strauss : Do you have a special pre-game ritual?
Davis : I usually don’t. However, the night before games, I can’t sleep so I just stay up and watch highlights of my favorite football players in the game. I’d watch Birdman (Cash Money Records CEO) clips on YouTube. I listen to how he started something from the ground up. That gets me hyped up.
Strauss : What is your favorite song?
Davis : My favorite song right now comes from my cousin, Tom G. who’s really big in the state of Florida and also in the south right now. His song is called “Living in the Last Days.” In Tampa, there have been a lot of senseless killings, and he really spoke about what is really going on in the city I grew up in.
Strauss : If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
Davis : It would be invisibility. I would want that because at times I like to be alone and I like to think without being bothered… and, I would also pull pranks on friends and make them think that they are going crazy.
Strauss : Thank you for answering the personal questions.