Tevin Davis has plenty of reasons to be excited for the opening of the 2013 Valdosta State season.
The former Mary Persons standout and the Blazers are coming off an NCAA Division II national championship. Davis, after a strong sophomore season, has switched to a new position and expects even more opportunities to shine.
And the Blazers are kicking off their season in Macon, not far from Davis hometown of Forsyth, against Fort Valley State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Henderson Stadium.
Its like 10 or 15 minutes from my home, so Im really looking forward to it, Davis said. All of the guys from Middle Georgia, weve been talking about it, all of the people who are going to be there for this game. Well have a lot of people who have supported us, parents, our families, cousins, who will be there with some of our former coaches and teachers. Its going to be fun to see them all at the game.
There will be plenty of Middle Georgians for fans to see Saturday. Davis is joined on the Blazers roster by running back Nick Davis of Mary Persons, quarterback Kaleb Nobles of Fitzgerald, running back Cedric ONeal of Dublin, wide receiver R.J. Davis of Fitzgerald, defensive back Brandon Brown of Northside, guard Alexander Brock of Vidalia, defensive tackle Andrew Lauritsen of Warner Robins, tight end Will Johnson of Robert Toombs and quarterback Brannon Cape of Howard.
Tevin Davis finished last year with 67 tackles and three sacks, and he is the Blazers returning leader with 16 tackles for loss. He has switched sides to the strongside defensive end spot and is looking forward to even more chances this year.
There are a lot of things I can improve on, Davis said. My pass rush game can improve, and I can continue to just get better as a player and do more things.
One of the things Davis and his teammates are looking to doing is getting right back in the national championship hunt. Valdosta States championship last year was the programs third.
Everybodys goal is to try to win the national championship, for sure, Davis said. But we just have to focus on things game by game and get ready that way. If we do that, well be OK.
Valdosta State leads the series with Fort Valley State 17-3, and the two teams have met twice in Macon with the Blazers winning both of those. The Blazers are 5-1 in games against the Wildcats to open the season, and head coach David Dean is 3-0 against the Wildcats.
Were looking forward to playing up there because we have a lot of alumni in Macon and the central part of the state, and we have a lot of people who live in Atlanta, Dean said. And were always excited to play in new places and show what our team can do.