July 16, 2009With the end of summer quickly approaching it¹s almost time to go back to school and kick-off football season, but with the time we have left many of us are trying to give back to the community. Each summer a group of football players work with Gene Fazio at Cesar Chavez High School in putting on The Wright to Dream Literacy Camp. This year about 10-15 of us on the team will take incoming freshmen through the reading and writing tutoring program. The camp runs from July 20-22 and it really is beneficial to the students we work with because it is one-on-one and helps make the transition from middle school to high school that much easier.
I have been involved with this program for the last three years and it¹s been a great experience for me each time. Toby Wright is the founder and president of the Wright to Dream Foundation, and Fazio developed the coaching literacy program we use with the students. They do an outstanding job of putting everything together and I know that my teammates that will be joining me next week are as excited as I am to help get these kids ready for high school.
Until next time, Dexter
July 10, 2009
Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon we have player-only practices and film sessions. Because it is against NCAA rules for the coaches to organize any type of practice we have taken it upon ourselves to do so. The sessions are led mostly by the seniors and juniors who have been in the program for a while and the structure is similar to our regular season practices. We get together for about 90 minutes or so and we go through some position specific individual drills, and then 1-on-1's before finishing with team. The film sessions are held by position and usually consist of breaking down game tape from last season, and practices from the spring. Watching tape not only allows you to see and correct the mistakes you make personally, but it gives the less experienced guys on the team an opportunity to develop a better understanding of the playbook.
Aside from trying to improve my football skills in practice, one area of my game that I have really focused on this summer has been my strength. I¹ve always enjoyed lifting weights, but it wasn't until recently that I became really passionate about it. I try to gain all the knowledge I can from our staff of trainers and strength coaches so that I can pack more and more muscle onto my frame. I strength train six days a week and it is paying off because I¹m stronger and heavier than I have ever been. I can¹t wait to put my strength gains to work on the field this fall.
See you soon! Dexter
July 2, 2009
It's hard to believe that almost five years have passed since I made my commitment to play football for Arizona State. I was recruited lightly by a few other schools and my only offer besides ASU was from the University of Texas El Paso. I allowed the process to play out for a few months and in November of 2004 I made my pledge to Coach Dirk Koetter to be a Sun Devil. The opportunity to play in front of my family and friends, compete in an elite conference like the Pac-10, and be taught by the coaching staff are what lured me the most.
My first defensive line coach here was Ted Monachino and although I only got to spend one season with him I was able to gain a lot of knowledge from him. The following year Grady Stretz was brought on as the new d-line coach and his coaching style was a little different than what I had been accustomed to. He wasn't my favorite person to begin with, but he got the best out of me and I've grown to love him for it. After two years with Koetter and his staff the University decided to opt for a change and brought in Coach Dennis Erickson. This came as a shock to me and I did not want to see Coach Koetter leave, but there was nothing I could do. I didn't know much about Coach Erickson, but once I saw his resume I was excited about what was to come. I have been very fortunate to have some great coaches over my career, and it's always comforting to go into a game knowing you've been well prepared and you have a talented group to guide you.
Happy Fourth of July! Talk with you soon.
June 23, 2009
One thing I'm frequently asked about in interviews is my background in wrestling and how it has helped me on the football field. Wrestling in high school has definitely benefited me in football in several different ways. From a technical standpoint understanding how to use leverage as well as your hips and hands are things that crossover from the mat to defensive line play. Beyond that I think many of the things that I carry with me from wrestling are mental.
Wrestling is an extremely demanding sport and it requires that you be in great shape. I had no idea that I could be so physically exhausted from rolling around on a mat for a few minutes until I experienced it for myself. Practices were nonstop, intense training sessions for two hours or more everyday and the coach at my high school, Steve Linsacum, expected only the best from us. Because of it many people who came out for the team quit, but those who stayed around and fought through it came out with a great work ethic because of it. After all the grueling hard work in preparation for a match, the real test was walking out on the mat with no teammates by your side and going head to head with somebody else your size. There were many instances where I got beat and I doubted my skills and my desire, but I learned to get back up and keep competing. For my first couple of years playing football here I had to take my lumps, but because of the things I gained from wrestling I have been able to have success beyond anything I would have hoped for.
June 19, 2009
I thought it would be fitting with father's day coming up on Sunday for me to talk about my role model, my dad [Craig Davis]. Ever since I was young I've looked at my dad as the embodiment of what I wanted to be when I grew up. He was the biggest and strongest guy in the world to me; he was charismatic, friendly, responsible, and above all, a loving father and husband. Although I'm a little bigger than him now I still view him the same and I feel truly blessed to be his son.
One of the reasons I decided to start playing football was because of my dad. He coached my brother's Pop Warner team and one of the ways we bonded was by watching football together all day on Saturdays and Sundays. When I got to high school and the opportunity to play came up I jumped on it. My dad would get off work early to come watch me practice and when game day rolled around he was always the first one there with the video camera ready. At one point in the season the coach benched me and I turned to my dad to help me do some extra work to get back on the field. This is just one of countless examples where my dad has been there to help me get through my obstacles and come out better because of it. No one has impacted and influenced my life more than my father and I hope I can be for my son what he has been for me.
June 12, 2009
The lifestyle of an Arizona State football player can be very demanding. People really only see the finished product on Saturdays, but a lot goes on behind the scenes to get to that point.
Aside from the practicing, film study, weight lifting and conditioning that is necessary for our teams' success; we have to put in similar hours in the classroom, study hall and with mentors so that we can also have success academically. For my first couple of years here I didn't take school as seriously as I should have, but
seeing my friends and teammates graduate has been a huge motivator for me to finish up strong. I'm on track to graduate this December and its due largely in part to the academic coaching staff.
Jean Boyd is the Associate Athletic Director for academics and has developed an outstanding support system for all of the student-athletes here at ASU. His staff is made up of four academic coaches: Corinne Corte, Patrice Feulner, Courtney Skipper and Christi White. The academic staff basically coordinates study-hall, helps us set up our class schedules, monitors our progress and assists us in creating an individual education plan. They make it possible for all of the student-athletes here to be successful beyond the field of play.
Thanks for reading and I will see you next week.
June 4, 2009
Hey everybody, this is senior defensive end Dexter Davis joining you for the first installment of "Sack Lunch with Dexter Davis." Over the next few weeks, I'll be stopping by from time to time to share some thoughts on the upcoming season and my experiences as an Arizona State student-athlete.
After four years as a member of the Arizona State football team, I'm now preparing for my final season as a Sun Devil. Over the course of those years I've experienced highs like winning the Pac-10 championship in 2007, and the disappointment of missing a bowl game the following year. Those are very valuable memories to me, but now my focus is squarely on the 2009 season.
Monday was the start of our summer strength and conditioning program and the atmosphere was great. The team was in full attendance for workouts Monday morning with an intensity that exceeded my expectations. One thing that I really love about the summer training program is that it's a great time for the players to bond. The workouts are very tough and the heat provides an added element of difficulty, but knowing that your teammates are putting in so much hard work with you helps develop respect and trust for one another. Also, the arrival of the newcomers to the program takes place in the summer, which allows us to start building that team chemistry with all of the tools that we will have in place for the fall.
Well, that's all for now. I'll stop by again soon. Go Sun Devils!