Are there any lingering concerns with James Davis?
James will be fine. He returned to have his best day on the practice field Saturday. It is likely that he will not be made available to the media until Thursday. This is a smart move by Tim Bourrett and Coach Bowden in my opinion. There is no need to throw Davis right into the fires with the media. Allow him to get through his first couple days of classes and let the firestorm settle a little. Coach Bowden said Davis would return Friday or Saturday, and he was back Friday evening. He also said it can take up to 72 hours for the homesickness to wear off after a player returns. Davis is not a bad kid, and the rumors that he was upset about playing time and openly talking about transferring were completely unfounded. We have talked to several players on and off the record and all say that was not the case. Now, I am not going to sugarcoat it and say nothing was wrong. He was upset, but it was not about playing time, and he never reached the point to where he was talking transfer.
Should we be concerned that the offense is ahead of the defense right now?
This is a very good question. One I have been wrestling with since the first scrimmage. One point for the good is the offense is much farther along than I anticipated them being at this point. The receivers have been a huge surprise. It is still scary with only two experienced guys being ready for the opener. I will say that Kelvin Grant has a better chance to play against Texas A&M than originally thought. They will continue to rehab, but his arm is no longer in the sling. It is difficult to get a good read on the defense. There is a concern over pass rush and missed assignments. In speaking with Gaines Adams following the scrimmage, he said they improved, but there was still too many missed assignments on Saturday. Coach Bowden prefers to have the defense ahead, but both units are making good progress. The interior defensive line will likely be tested early and often. There is some concern over a lack of size, but the group is not without talent. Donnell Clark and Trey Tate are the current starters, so hopefully Tate will continue his play from the second half of last season. Rashaad Jackson and Dorrell Scott is the future at defensive tackle.
Which freshman has looked the best?
By all accounts, Phillip Merling has received a ton of praise. Coach Bowden is having difficult time staying quiet on this one. I believe Merling is going to be a very good player. The staff probably had a good idea of what was coming and thats why Bobby Williamson was moved back to tight end in the spring. The biggest surprise would have to be Sadat Chambers. I am not sure I expected him to play for another two years. Now, he has put himself in a position to avoid a redshirt. In fairness, he did not play any defense at the Shrine Bowl. He has quickly established himself as one of the big hitters on the defense.
What do you think of Lou Holtz prediction?
It is amazing how people fall in the love with what has been coaches think. Lee Corso, Lou Holtz, etc. there is a reason they do not post their records on predictions. They are good side shows for ESPN. Holtz never predicted one of his own teams to beat Georgia, why would he think the ruins he left Spurrier will. Holtz has not done one favor to Spurrier since he left, and giving Georgia bulletin board material definitely is not one.
How does the running back board look now with Crawford’s situation?
Well obviously, Crawford is off the board. Carlos Brown is still the top target, but we have never put him on the most wanted list, becaues we do not feel there is a good chance Clemson lands him. Josh Adams is the most likely target now with Crawford gone. Marion Hobby can turn up the heat on Adams, which was needed to land him, and try to land North Carolina’s top running back. JoJo Cox is still a “soft” verbal, and they feel good about him.