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When Opponent's Line Up Across From 'Raw Talented' Freshman There Should Be Some FEAR...!

on 12/11/2016

Crimson Tide Football:

Raekwon Davis, one of two #99's on the roster - the other being Adam Griffith, fits into that Number 99 in the traditional way though he's still a little different from the rest. At 6-foot-7, the freshman is taller than practically every defensive lineman who ever had a hand in the dirt.

The former top recruit is winding down his year as an understudy for Alabama's loaded defensive line. Playing time has been limited with future NFL draft picks taking top depth chart standing. This fall was about learning for the raw talent from Meridian, Mississippi.

"
It's crazy," Davis said after the SEC Championship Game. "You really have to be a man just to play. I had to man up. I played a great role. I think I did great. I think I could have done better."

Davis appeared in seven games with a highlight moment coming late in the 51-3 beating of Mississippi State. Bulldog reserve quarterback Damian Williams was blown up -- along with an offensive lineman -- for Davis' first sack-forced fumble of his Alabama career.

All 6-7, 315 pounds of exuberant freshman ran to the Alabama sideline to claim the coveted turnover belt. Senior linebacker Reuben Foster couldn't stop laughing as Davis celebrated the small victory amid a crushing blowout.

"
That's just a play of manning up," Davis said. "Just showing what I can do next year."
Jonathan Allen, Alabama's national defensive player of the year, can't wait to see what Davis does with some time in the program.

"
How much he puts into it is what he's going to get out of it," Allen said. "He has no limit. I can see him going top 10. If he doesn't work hard, he won't. It's up to him but he has everything there to be successful."

Coming to Alabama, Davis said he knew it would be difficult. He called it a blessing to play alongside talent like Allen, likely a top-5 pick in the spring. Almost every answer to interview questions came back to learning "to be a man" and growing up this fall in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson called Davis "
extremely raw and extremely young," but sees the talent and potential.

Being 6-foot-7, 300-plus pounds is something else.

"
I think that's part of what makes him so special," said Robinson, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound Outland Trophy winner. "He's so long and he's also huge, so he do some things that a lot of guys aren't able to do at that position."

Allen too marvels at Davis' size.

"
I mean, he's huge and he still has room to grow," Allen said. "He's still getting used to his body, but he's going to be a beast."

Davis chuckled in the Georgia Dome locker room when asked how offensive linemen react to a 6-7 defensive lineman settling in across the way.

"
I don't know how people think about me," Davis said after a moment to think, "but they should be ... when they look at me, they should have some fear."


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