Georgia football: Making the case for Jordan Davis to win the Heisman
Start with the size, because that’s the most tangible thing to fully appreciate all that is Jordan Davis. And there is a lot to absorb.
Davis, the mammoth Georgia defensive tackle, is listed at 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds, depending on how many organic Swedish Fish he has had recently.
It’s that size that has allowed Georgia this season to allow almost no meaningful rushing yards up the middle. What’s more, Davis swallowing up double teams, or the occasional triple team, frees up teammates to rush the quarterback. And it’s a main reason why Georgia is tied for 4th in the nation with 41 sacks, and 5 Bulldogs have at least 4 sacks each.
Davis is the heart of the defense and a main reason why Georgia has the No. 1 defense in America, allowing just 229.7 yards per game, 7 yards fewer than No. 2 Wisconsin. The Junkyard Dawgs have allowed 83 points, or 6.9 per game. At No. 2, Clemson sits at 180 points and 15 per game.
The most imposing and dominant player on the best defense in the nation should take home the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 11.
Are you looking for a Heisman moment? How about the rundown of UAB QB Tyler Johnston III.
Want a resume builder? How about the rushing touchdown against Charleston Southern.
Davis will never light up a box score. But his impact spills over to the defense as a whole, and it helps limit explosive plays, especially on 1st and 2nd down. It may not always show up for fans, as the average fan typically doesn’t watch the interior line during a live play. His stats are 24 total tackles, 3.5 for a loss and 2 sacks. Broadcasters have taken note at times this season.
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said during the Clemson game, “What I love about a 340-pound guy is he was relentless in his effort. He did not give up on it and actually attacked the football.”
To the point about a lack of box score love, during the South Carolina game, ESPN’s Todd Blackledge witnessed Davis force a safety when Luke Doty was tackled in the end zone. “It’s the big fella, Jordan Davis that was there first, doesn’t get credit for the tackle. Probably gets credit for the assist. But it was his pressure that forced the play.”
It has been this way throughout the season.
Off week for UGA, but here’s a fun nugget to get Dawgs fans thru the weekend…
Jordan Davis has played 155 snaps. On those, UGA has allowed a total of 4 explosive plays. Four. That’s it.
Overall, opponents avg 2.72 yd/play w/Davis on the field. 2011 Bama allowed 3.32.
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) October 23, 2021
But the ones who really notice Davis’ impact are coaches at Georgia, and its opponents. Should they educate Heisman voters?
One offensive coordinator told Chris Low of ESPN anonymously that the best player in college football may be up for debate, but not the discussion on the most dominant player. It’s Davis. Case closed.
“You can’t move him, and he closes down everything you try to do in the inside run game and is powerful enough to push the pocket into the quarterback’s face,” the coordinator said. “But what really makes him one of a kind is his ability to make plays down the line of scrimmage and even in space.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban this week used the word “dominant” to describe Davis.
“Any defensive lineman, I guess you can look at a lot of things, but the No. 1 thing is how hard are they to block? And he’s really hard to block,” Saban said. “He’s got great size. He’s very powerful, but he’s got really good initial quickness, short area quickness, and can push the pocket and pass rush. He’s about as good a player as I’ve seen for a long time as an inside player on any college football team.”
Georgia is allowing just 3.67 yards per play and has allowed an average of only 2 plays of 20 yards per game. Arguably the best defense in the past 25 years, 2011 Alabama, allowed 3.32 yards per play. Only 6 teams, including Georgia this year, registered YPP under 4. This Georgia team is the best at that stat since that Alabama squad.
The only defensive player to win the Heisman was Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997, though he also contributed at wide receiver and on special teams.
If quarterbacks have won the Heisman in years past because they were the best player on the best offense in the country, why shouldn’t the best player on the best defense be front and center for the New York ceremony?