AUBURN | Call it a sophomore slump. Maybe an injury-curtailed second season. But for whatever reason, Carlton Davis felt like he underperformed last fall.
“It was kind of a down year,” Auburn’s junior cornerback said. “I had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of things happen — injuries, fighting through it. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I’m always focused on the future. I’m not focusing on the past.”
Davis started 10 and played in 12 of 13 games last season despite injuring his shoulder in the opener against Clemson and suffering two separate ankle injuries — one before the Mississippi State game Oct. 8 and another during the Georgia game Nov. 12.
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“It was just nagging, nagging, nagging throughout the whole season,” Davis said. “Just playing through that and playing through the SEC West, it’s never an easy thing. I’m looking to bounce back this year and have a phenomenal year.”
Davis has already shown that he can be one of the SEC’s best cornerbacks when healthy. He has 102 tackles, 18 pass breakups and three interceptions in his two-year career. He has started 19 games. He was named SEC All-Freshman in 2015 and was a third-team All-SEC selection last year.
Davis is pleased with his progress as he’s remained healthy through the first half of spring drills.
“I feel great. It’s probably the best I’ve felt since I’ve been here and I’m really excited for this season,” he said.
With Auburn’s offense putting more emphasis on the passing game, the secondary is getting a lot of extra work this spring. Davis welcomes the increased reps and added competition.
“It’s actually a good thing for both the offense and the defense because it just shows more diversity for our offense. For us, defensively we just get a chance to work on our skills more and really prepare more for the game,” Davis said.
Davis will be part of a secondary that returns seven players that have combined for 70 career starts.
“We’re veterans now. It’s time to really get after it,” Davis said.