When you want something and you can’t have it, it makes you want it that much more.
That’s how Huskie cornerback Eddie Davis got to where he is now.
“I started playing football as a sophomore in high school because when I was younger my mom wouldn’t let me play little league football,” said Davis. “She didn’t have much say when I was in high school.”
The 5-foot 9-inch, 170-pound junior is now the starting right cornerback for NIU. But cornerback wasn’t what he’s always been. He was a tailback for Pattonville High School and as a senior Davis rushed for 932 yards on 173 attempts and 12 TDs. He was recruited as a tailback and after a month was moved to cornerback.
Davis did play both positions in high school and even though he would have rather played tailback, he is satisfied with being a cornerback. He knows what it takes to be a good cornerback and is qualified to play the position.
“It takes quickness, agility and reaction to the ball,” Davis said. “I just have to improve on reading offenses a little more.”
As a junior, Davis adds a variety of things to the Huskie defense.
“He has great concentration in both practice and in games and gives a 100 percent,” said defensive coordinator Gary Evans. “He has the ability to cover from man-to-man to zone and read quarterbacks. He (also) has the ability to adjust to a situation and that comes from his confidence and experience.”
Last year as a back up at left cornerback Davis recorded 34 tackles (19 solo) with two pass deflections and an interception. So far this season 19 of his 29 tackles (eigth on the team) have been solo and he has one pass deflection.
Davis also doubles as a back up kick returner. In his first two years he had 13 returns for 298 yards. This season he has returned three kicks for 23 yards.
“I like it (kick returning) and would like to do it more, but I guess Steve (Rodgers) is doing a good job right now,” he said. “You know you can’t change a good thing.”
Davis claims his biggest challenge so far has just been to overcome injuries. He suffered injuries to both knees his freshman year which occasionally act up.
Davis has set a personal goal this season that he believes is still attainable after a slow start, perhaps taking on the attitude of ex-Chicago Bear Lemuel Stinson.
“I plan on getting at least five interceptions before this year is over,” he said. “I think I can still do that even though we have just six games left.”
He does however have one greater goal that involves the team as a whole.
“My goal ultimately is to go be the Big West Champs and go to the bowl game and win it … to get a ring on my finger,” he said.
“He (Eddie Davis) has great concentration in both practice and in games and gives a 100 percent. He has the ability to cover from man-to-man to zone and read quarterbacks.”