Nose tackle is arguably the least glamorous position in football, yet defensive tackle Jordan Davis has managed to become a Heisman candidate while playing it.
Davis is arguably the best defender in America, and the historic play of Georgia's defense backs it up. They are littered with future NFL players, but it all starts with No. 99.
Head coach Kirby Smart routinely goes out of his way to compliment Davis on and off the field, lauding him as one of the best individuals he has been around. Yet somehow, the rampant praise of Davis as a person has clouded how good of a football player he is.
The 2021 NFL Draft was one of the weaker defensive tackles classes in recent memory. Several experts said it was the least impressive group they had seen in decades scouting, which means Davis could have been the No. 1 man at his position.
He opted to return to school for "unfinished business," which is the business way of saying that he loves Georgia and couldn't bear to part ways with Athens. Davis spent the 2021 season dominating SEC interior linemen, making life easy on his teammates while getting little statistical production in return.
Fortunately, several Georgia fans called attention to Davis's being the best player on the best team in college football. He has received some Heisman buzz, but in all honesty, it is hard to imagine him coming away with the award.
This weekend marks an opportunity for him to continue his national ascent. National football fans still may not know the name Jordan Davis, but big games against Alabama and eventually in the College Football Playoff could propel him into the limelight.
What that could do for him is still yet to be determined. He likely has no legitimate chance of winning the Heisman Trophy, but a few more big weekends could send a message to NFL teams: it doesn't matter if he is an interior defensive lineman; good players change games.
There hasn't been an offensive line that slowed Davis all season. Looking at the stat sheet would tell you otherwise because most of Davis's job encompasses freeing up other people to make impressive plays.
Moving forward, the Bulldogs will play every game on national television in front of millions of people, which means that postseason award voters, NFL scouts, and fans get to see what those around the Georgia program have seen for the better part of two years.
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