Gordo football coach Ryan Lolley could discuss former Greenwave star – Alabama linebacker Ben Davis – for days on end, but he needs only one word to describe him.
“He’s a winner without a doubt,” Lolley said.
At Gordo, Davis’ desire to be the best transcended the football field. He wanted to win at everything including his studies.
During his redshirt season in 2016, Davis, the son of Alabama’s all-time tackles leader, Wayne Davis, brought that work ethic to Alabama’s scout team without complaint.
“He’s pretty much drinking the Kool-Aid, so to speak, over there,” Lolley said. “The only thing he told me is he was sticking with the process.”
Greenwave coaches witnessed the results of Davis’ hard work first hand, but that doesn’t mean his knack for making plays stopped surprising them.
Gordo offensive coordinator Benji Kelley remembered watching Davis react to an opponent’s quick screen. He expected the outside linebacker to shut the play down. Davis did more than that- he snatched the ball right out of the air- prompting a one-word response from Kelley.
“He’s like your wife,” Kelley said. “You don’t tell your wife everyday how beautiful she is if you’ve been married to her 20 (years). You should, don’t get me wrong, but he’s there getting it done and he’s so dependable sometimes you forget to say ‘Ben you had a great game.’”
The freshman was originally expected work with the inside linebackers for the Crimson Tide, but his speed prompted the coaching staff to move him back outside this spring.
“We just felt like Ben, athletically, might have a better chance to contribute there and he’s done a nice job,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
There’s a good chance Davis could work his way into the rotation since the returning players at the position accounted for only 27 tackles in 2016. If that doesn’t work out the Crimson Tide’s head coach has already mentioned Davis as a guy that could make plays for Alabama on special teams.
Regardless of the role, his former coaches don’t expect him to let up.
“He’s the kind of kid that I wish my son could be when he gets to that age, not as an athlete, but just as a person,” Kelley said.