The San Francisco 49ers added some running back depth on day three of the 2015 NFL Draft, selecting Mike Davis out of South Carolina. He spoke with the media after his selection, and he had some interesting background.
According to Davis, a major reason he left school early was to support his mother. She got an eviction notice this past year, and he decided he needed to step up for her. He seems NFL ready, but he also comes into a situation where he does not have to be "the man" right away. Carlos Hyde is "the man" for the 49ers at running back, but the team also has Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter.
There is a lot of depth and it will be interesting to see just how the team splits it up. In the past, Frank Gore was the clear number one. Hyde appears that way, but it remains to be seen if he'll get the 200+ carries and be the bell cow for this team.
Congratulations. How are you feeling?
"I'm feeling great. I'm feeling a lot better."
Mike, just how big of a relief is this with everything that you and your family's been through to get drafted at this spot?
"Man, it's been a great ride for me. I'm happy and relieved to get the call. You know, it's a feeling I can't even describe right now."
Mike, can you just share with us, you know, the obvious connection with RB Marcus Lattimore being here the last two years and any relationship or advice that he has told you?
"Marcus always told me, be myself. You know, Latt was a great person and you know, I picked up a lot of things from Latt. With him being a great person and him just making the team better by being around. You know, I just picked up things from him as far as, you know, being a better person."
Mike, is power back a pretty good description of yourself?
"I would say power back. I would love to be considered as a power back but also, you know, a guy that can catch out of the backfield."
Can you explain the reasoning going into the draft and what's going on with the family?
"Yeah, my reason for entering the draft was because of my mom. Late in the process she got an eviction notice on her door. I always wanted to help my mom out. I knew with no one else being able to help her I had to step up. That was a major reason for me to enter the draft."
What does that do to a young man of your age? Is that pressure on you or how do you approach that?
"I mean, I think it put a little bit of pressure on me. But at the end of the day, you know, I wanted what's best for my mom. I didn't care about all the outside stuff. I just wanted a better living for my mom. She's the reason why I'm here, so of course I'm going to take care of her.'"
Being able to see firsthand what happened to Marcus Lattimore, you know that you got to take advantage of your opportunities when you get them when you play your position?
"Yeah, especially being on the sideline and seeing that injury. That was one of the craziest things I had ever seen. Seeing that made me think to myself, you know, just do your best. Do what you can."
Mike, you seem to be a similar size to RB Frank Gore. Did you follow his career? And do you see similarities in your game?
"You know, that's crazy. That's one of the things that I watched. I love the way he blocks. He lays guys out. I had some friends who compare me to Frank Gore but you know, Frank Gore is one hell of a running back. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame. I wouldn't want to compare myself to Frank. He's a great running back, you know. They say we do have similar styles and size. Of course I'm going to try and match that."
Passing blocks often gets over looked as far as running backs. You seem to pride yourself on blocking. Is that right?
"Of course. You know, that is one of the things I watch of him. He's a great blocker. I've seen him lay plenty of the guys out. That is one of the things I want to take pride in, especially as a running back."
Looking back on your college career, what was the pressures you faced, I guess, replacing Marcus?
"You said the pressure?"
"I'd say there was a lot of pressure, you know, trying to replace Marcus Lattimore. Latt was like a god, still is a god, to South Carolina period. And hearing all the outside things, saying how you wouldn't be able to even come close to Marcus Lattimore's shoes, of course it made me want to work harder and do better. I feel, you know, it was a lot of pressure."
Have you spoken to Marcus lately?
"I've spoken to Marcus lately, of course. I told Latt about the visit that I had, about going to San Fran. And also, you know, before the combine and before pro day. You know Latt, how he always congratulates. He's one of the guys, you know, he's not also worried about your football career. You know, he's wondering about how your family is doing. So, you know, he is that type of guy."
Anything that he told you about the situation out here in San Francisco? You came out here to visit too, right?
And what was that like?
"It was great. I loved the weather. I loved Coach Tom Rathman a lot. You know, Latt told me it's a great place to stay. Great people. I'll also get to be up there with my old teammate [WR] Bruce Ellington. It's going to be nice."