At 6’4, 237, Liberal 2018 defensive end Dalton Davis is establishing himself as one of the state’s premier small school players.
A run-stuffing lineman, Davis says he is best at reading the triple option and making the right play.
“As a defensive end, you have a lot of responsibilities that you must hold up, dependent on the read,” he said. “It’s really a difficult position, and the hardest part is the ability to follow the play. I feel like I’ve always had that in my skill set.”
Davis says he didn’t pick up much college interest during the offseason, but knew his weaknesses as a player a year ago and worked hard in the offseason to address them. He has helped Liberal go from a 2-8 season a year ago to a 3-3 campaign so far in 2017 and has since drawn interest from NCAA Division II National Champion Northwest Missouri State and visited the campus on Saturday.
“I don’t currently have any offers, and I didn’t expect any given how I played last season,” he said. “My film wasn’t awful by any means, but my lack of strength and speed was obvious.”
Davis says he held down a job throughout the summer, but after a growth spurt in the offseason says he hopes he can turn a big senior season into an opportunity to play at the next level.
“I didn’t look into attending combines or camps this summer, so I’ll have to prove my self once the pads come on. I’m confident with who I am now mentally and physically, I’ve got what it takes,” he said.
Davis began playing football in third-grade and in sixth-grade a coach from a rival school and conference asked him if he would play for the Allied Rivals. They traveled to a tournament in Columbia in the late fall and he has been playing ever since.
A fan of Indianapolis Colts’ former standout DE Dwight Freeney, Davis says his dad and his head coach have been the most important influences on his football career to date.
“My dad has always encouraged me to use the abilities I’ve been blessed with, and has never failed to make a game no matter the distance,” Davis said. “When Coach McKee came in last season, I hadn’t had any weight training or mentorship worth speaking of from a coach.
“As soon as he got here he flipped the switch in my head and has been molding me into the player I am currently”