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Prichard (Ala.) Vigor linebacker Deshaun Davis was in Orlando recently for the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl along with future teammate Justin Thornton. The Auburn pledge didn't participate because of his leg injury, but he said he is close to 100%.
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"I'm feeling real well right now," Davis said. "I was cleared to practice by my doctor, but he wouldn't give me the OK to play in the game. It felt good to get the pads back on do something you love again. I feel like a big kid out there. I'm back."
Last night, his Tigers fell in the BCS National Championship to Florida State on a touchdown with thirteen seconds left in regulation. The season was a huge success following last year's 0-8 record in the SEC and 3-9 regular season effort.
"When the season first started I didn't expect it (playing for a national championship)," Davis said. "I knew they were good enough to compete and go to a bowl game. As the season progressed they got better and better. The players wanted it. By week six or seven I knew if we could get better every week then something like this could happen."
Davis pointed to head coach Gus Malzahn's style of coaching as the focal point to the turnaround.
"I used to always say the coaches aren't on the field, so that didn't matter," Davis said. "But if the coaches aren't putting you in position to make plays, then no matter the talent you aren't going to win. The players bought in to (Malzhan) and busted their butts every day."
The Tigers are recruiting the linebacker position heavily in the 2014 class. Five-star defender Tre Williams headlines the group, and the Tigers are hoping to land Auburn (Ala.) native Rashaan Evans.
"I really hope Rashaan comes on and joins us," stated Davis. "We would have three of the best linebackers in the state of Alabama and in the nation. With Coach (Ellis) Johnson's scheme we could do really well there. The defense isn't the strong point this year. They are getting stops, but it's not where we want it to be. With the guys we have coming in, the sky is the limit."
Kynon Codrington is a Southeast Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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