As usual, there is a notable Georgia presence on Tennessee’s roster. Eighteen of the Vols’ players hail from the Peach State, including seven who are included among those on the two-deep depth chart.
As a result, there is a lot of familiarity between the players of the both teams. Case in point, Georgia’s Aaron Davis is tight with two Vols.
Davis, a redshirt freshman defensive back from Locust Grove, and played travel ball with Tennessee’s Cameron Sutton and Cameron McDowell. Sutton is a sophomore from Jonesboro who starts at cornerback. McDowell is a freshman and backup linebacker who has appeared in all three games.
All three were members of the legendary North Henry (County) Tigers.
“We went 72-and-0, won like five championships,” said Davis, a walkon from Locust Grove who has played himself into a starting job for the Bulldogs. “It was travel ball and we played some really good teams. Actually played in the Frank Ski Bowl and won that.”
That collaboration ended after their eighth-grade year. But Davis said all three players remain good friends. And while they stay in touch via texts and social media, they won’t be exchanging any pleasantries this week. The Bulldogs will be going for a fifth consecutive win over the Vols this Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
To do that, Georgia will have to get some exceptional play out of Davis. The 6-foot-1, 189-pound athlete started the first two games at free safety, but slid down to the boundary cornerback position and started there against Troy this past Saturday.
Davis has been working primarily at cornerback this week but has no idea where he’ll play for sure.
“That can always change the next day,” said Davis, who sometimes moves from one position to the other during games. “So I’m just going to line up where (coach Jeremy Pruitt) wants me to play.”
The Bulldogs’ secondary generally is considered over-matched from week-to-week. In Tennessee, they will encounter one of the biggest groups of receivers they’ve faced. The Vols feature 6-4, 220-pound Marquez North, 6-5, 240-pound Jason Croom and 6-3, 204-pound Josh Malone.
“They’ve definitely got some big, physical guys that we’re going to have to get up there and challenge,” said Davis, who has 9 tackles and an interception on the season. “You’ve just got to go out there and believe in your technique and play ‘em.”
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