It wasn’t necessarily a wake-up call, but it was an eye-opening moment.
Sophomore cornerback Aaron Davis, who began the year as one of Georgia’s starting cornerback, was demoted to a backup role before Georgia’s game against Tennessee. He then spent the next four weeks as a backup, rotating into the secondary when called upon.
Davis could have let the demotion affect him negatively. But Davis took it as a sign for him to reorganize what he was doing on the football field. While he was still seeing playing time, Davis knew he still had what it takes to be a starter. It took four games but Davis was eventually able to re-take his starting job when Georgia played Auburn. He went on to start Georgia's final three regular-season games.
Davis said it was a learning experience to go through.
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"You have to bring it every week, every day, every rep," Davis said. "You can never slow down or anything like that. You have to bring your best every day. That’s the only way you’ll be safe. That’s something you have to go through with life in general. That’s how I look at it. No one has reached any type of level where they can’t be benched, or someone might elevate their play above you. You just have to take it to another level."
This season, Davis has 39 tackles and one interception, two pass breakups and a sack.
When Davis lost his starting role, he knew he needed to adjust his approach to practice in order to get his job back.
"I think I did have to refocus myself with the goals I have," Davis said. "I don’t think I ever want to allow myself to slip into being complacent."
Davis will have to prove himself to a new head coach following Georgia's upcoming game against Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl. With Kirby Smart coming in, Davis said he's up for the challenge of proving why he should continue contributing in a major way with the Bulldogs in 2016.
"I look forward to showing him what I can do and how I can be an asset to a team," Davis said. "I don’t know too much about him other than his reputation he’s had from being at Alabama."