With training camp a few months away, The Oracle caught up with former USF wide receiver Andre Davis who signed a futures contract at the end of last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, securing him a spot for this year’s camp.
Davis left USF holding 14 school records, including career receiving yards and touchdowns.
Q: I’ve heard some rumblings that you’ve been working a lot catching passes from Jameis (Winston) over the offseason. How much has that helped your development and what kind of things have you been doing?
A: I’ve been doing a lot of things. I’ve mostly been working with Jameis, but I’ve also worked a lot with Mike (Glennon). He’s blowing up. I’ve been out there running routes and working with the QBs.
Q: Jameis has also put an emphasis on conditioning over the offseason. How has that shown in your workouts?
A: Yeah, he’s been putting a lot of work in the weight room. He’s actually dropped a lot of weight. We haven’t been moving around too much, so I don’t really see the mobility, but I can definitely see a difference in his weight.
Q: In your opinion, who do you think the Bucs should target with the No. 9 pick in the upcoming draft?
A: Well, I’m a Bucs fan. So, right now, I’d have to go with (Vernon) Hargreaves out of Florida. He’s a great cover corner and I think he can help our defense out. He’s a great athlete and a rangy corner, he can really do it all. And given that he’s also from Tampa, I’ve been able to see his game progress throughout the years and I feel like he’d be a great fit for the defense.
Q: If Hargraves isn’t there, what’s your back up?
A: Probably a pass rusher. I like that guy DeForest Buckner from Oregon.
Q: Who is the best player in the draft in your eyes?
A: I’ve been seeing a lot from Jalen Ramsey (safety, FSU) and I like him for the simple fact that he can play safety and corner. I like him as an athlete, he’s a phenomenal athlete, and he can do it all. That’s who I’d go with. But I also like Hargreaves.
Q: With training camp coming up, what kind of training have you been doing to get yourself prepared to make another run?
A: I’ve been working at The Performance Compound, I’ve been there pretty much the whole time. We’ve been working lower body, upper body, speed skills and body workouts. I actually dropped some weight, so, I’m right at 200 pounds now. I was at like 215-220 before. We’ve also done a lot of speed work as well – things like exploding and power.
Q: What things did you pull away from your first stint with the Bucs? Although brief, I’m sure you took away some things to help you this time around.
A: I just learned to take advantage of the opportunity because a lot of the time being an undrafted free agent, you don’t get as many opportunities as the other guys. You really have to take advantage of the opportunities and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Q: Switching gears to USF, what were your thoughts on the impressive turnaround that your former team was able to accomplish after starting the season 1-3? (USF won seven of its final eight games before losing 45-35 to Western Kentucky in the Miami Beach Bowl).
A: They had a great season, man. Coach (Taggart) really got those guys going and toward the end of the season they went on a little run and they have a great quarterback in (Quinton Flowers). He can do so many things and Marlon (Mack) has been good in the backfield as well. I liked the receivers too. They got a lot of young guys like Chris Barr and Rodney Adams that stepped up. But what I really liked the most was the defense. The coordinator (Tom Allen, who has since left the team) put those guys in a great position to make a lot of plays and I hope they can sustain it.
Q: Do you expect any change now that Allen is gone?
A: Not at all. They will either stay the same or get better.
Q: One of those receivers, Rodney Adams, has really grown over the past two seasons. In the time you spent with him your senior year and what you saw last season, how have you seen his game evolve?
A: Well, I like the way they use Rodney. They use him in the run game as well as the passing game. They use him in the screen game, which I see more as a run play. He really came on as a receiver last year catching the ball, scoring a lot of touchdowns. He broke a couple records last year as well and that’s really good to see.
Q: When you were here, it was sort of a hot-button issue and it still is. How do you think an on-campus stadium would help the fan base at USF?
A: I feel like it would be nice for them to build one, but I don’t really see them needing one. It does kind of take a toll on the attendance. A lot of the students that may want to come to the game may not have the opportunity. Maybe it’d be nice for them.