UH’s Davis tries hard to trade his yellow jersey for another color
LAST August, a reporter (OK, it was Dave Reardon; I was probably goofing off) went to one of those informal summer 7-on-7 workouts and asked highly touted incoming Hawaii corner prospect J.P. Davis which side of the field he preferred to play. And Davis said, "Wherever they want someone to come in and dominate, that's what side I'll go on."
So it was fair to say Davis arrived on campus last year with a lot of confidence.
Unfortunately, it wasn't long into his freshman season when he was issued a yellow jersey. He'd come to dominate. Instead, he spent a season on the scout team.
You always wonder how someone will respond to a blow to the ego like that. Anger? Embarrassment? Quitting?
Davis has responded with character.
"I was more confident without putting the work in last year," he said yesterday, at the end of UH's first week of spring football. Yes, he's back. "This is more of a quiet confidence," he said. "I know what's going to happen when one-on-ones come around. I know what it's going to take.
"But that's why I didn't get down when they set the initial spots. I'm just waiting my time. Can't get no worse than last year, that's how I feel."
And of course, he said, there were a few days last year when it was tough to get up in the morning for those 7 a.m. practices knowing he had a yellow jersey waiting for him in the locker room. But he got through it, never got too down. He had a strange source of inspiration for a cornerback -- the quarterback.
"I was just happy, I was seeing what Colt was doing. ... I was just seeing how it can happen," Davis said. "He's from the Bay, and I'm from the Bay. He's from the same area of the country that I'm from and he blew up even with his circumstances."
J.P. Davis just wanted to blow up, too.
So he rededicated himself. ("I wasn't working as hard as I should have been working," he said.) He kept coming back. He's back this spring. He has a fresh start.
"I didn't have nothing against (Jerry) Glanville," Davis said. "He was a good coach. It was real hard-nosed, it was good for me. But now it's ... now, you can make mistakes and he'll (Greg McMackin) still give you a chance."
It's those mistakes that did Davis in, trying so hard not to make them. But he's working harder now, he's smarter now (he's humbler now).
He'd been training this offseason to show Glanville the player he'd become. Instead, now there's a new system, a new guy to impress. That's fine.
"I don't want to say it's total opposite," Davis said, "but Glanville, you mess up you're out of the game. (McMackin's) like, you mess up, we've got the best player in there."
Davis thinks he can be that best guy. He's confident that way.