Utah State football: Senior cornerback’s Will Davis' determination is main reason for success on football field

By Megan Allen

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012 2:25 p.m. MST

Will Davis is a fighter. From the very beginning, he knew what he wanted, and he knew how to make it happen.

The Utah State senior cornerback has put a lot of effort into getting where he is today. While he didn’t start playing football until his senior year at Central Valley High School (Spokane, Wash.), Davis has fought his way to the top since then. After high school, he started at a Division II school, moved on to junior college and now has had a successful career at the Division I level. In fact, no one would be surprised to see Davis’ career continue after he graduates.

“There’s always been something in me that wanted more, so I took a chance,” Davis said. “I’ve always been confident in myself. I thank God for that.”

Davis’ first year of college was spent at Western Washington University where he redshirted his freshman season. Just when he thought his time had come, the school dropped its football program. Davis remained there for his sophomore year before heading to California and De Anza College.

“My mindset was to go to California, sign at a JuCo and then get a Division I scholarship,” Davis said. “Those are big words to say for a guy who played for one year in high school then started out at Division II and didn’t even play.”

Those big words became a reality when Davis got a call from Utah State. Former offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin focused his sights on Davis and got him to Logan for a recruiting weekend.

“I was taking lots of trips and wasn’t at all planning on coming out to Utah,” Davis said. “Coach (Gary) Andersen is a very convincing person. He has a way with words.”

Davis had been looking seriously at Hawai’i and told Andersen that. In response, Andersen promised a trip to the islands, coming away with a win.

“I loved his confidence,” Davis said.

That confidence cemented Davis’ decision, and he came to Logan. Though quite a different landscape than Spokane and northern California, Davis is grateful for the change of pace.

“There may not be a lot to do here. But that keeps you away from temptation; I think. You can really only focus on school and football,” Davis said. “That’s a good thing in my life. I’ve had a lot of fun, always active, so this was good to kind of tame me and get me focused.”

Davis’ drive and motivation easily carried over to his action in a Utah State jersey.

In his first year as an Aggie, Davis played in all 13 games, making five starts. He made 35 tackles that season, with his career-high being set at 10 in the Idaho game. He finished the year with six pass break-ups and 3.5 tackles for loss.

As he came into his final season, Davis set two goals — become a starter and be named to the all-WAC first-team. The first was achieved by the Aggies’ season opener, as he has started every game since, while the later also became a reality and then more as Davis was not only named first-team all-WAC at his position, but he has also been named to a pair of All-America teams.

“Becoming a starter was huge," Davis said. “I wasn’t really in a position where I thought it could really happen. I got in there and made plays and contributed to the team.”

With so many players on a team, securing one of the top 11 spots on your side of the line isn’t an easy task.

“As an athlete, you want a certain spot at a certain position, but you see someone else working right there with you. Everyone wants that spot, that honor,” Davis said. “You have to keep working in your mind about the others. You always have to keep trying to get ahead.”

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