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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Aries Davis, OG, Tennessee-Martin

Aries Davis Tennessee-Martin
Aries Davis the massive offensive guard from the University of Tennessee-Martin recently sat down with Jimmy Williams of NFL Draft Diamonds
  • Name: Aries Davis
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 310 lbs
  • Position: OG
  • College: Tennessee-Martin
  • Twitter: @AriesDavis77

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

The University of Tennessee at Martin has been my family away from home. A couple of the university’s core values include academic excellence and student experience and success. I’m proud to say that I’ve had many successes in the classroom and outside the classroom at UTM.  My primary focus has been academics and football my entire college career.

How did you end up at Tennessee-Martin?

My college career began at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA. I graduated with my AA in June 2018. I knew I wanted to continue my education and football career, however graduating late also meant that offers were coming in slow from teams needing help.  Coach Bannon reached out to me and it felt like the right thing to do. I haven’t looked back since. I have enjoyed my time at UTM. Coach Bannon has made sure I was taken care of and has taught me a lot both on the field and off. I appreciate him making me feel at home and ensuring that I’ve got what I need. Coach Jones, who’s newer to the staff, leads in the same manner. He strongly cares about us as young men and I’m truly thankful for his guidance.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

Work Ethic. Doing the right thing is important to me, both on and off the field. To expand on this a little bit, they’d say that I’m dependable, dedicated, determined, respectful and that I hold myself accountable. One of the keys to success in my opinion, is self-discipline. I believe that self-discipline is the piece that connects a person’s goals to their accomplishments. It’s important to me to work hard each and every day to improve my craft. I want to set a good example. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I see myself as a major piece of the puzzle, especially within the O-line. I’m a lead by example type of guy for both the younger guys and the senior players. At the end of the day, it takes everyone on the team to work to be better and win.

Scheme: Power Blocking Scheme.  We found great success with this scheme this past season.  I’m quick and a very aggressive and physical player in the trenches.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

I’ll keep it short.  Jabari Zuniga, DL, University of Florida.

He has incredible speed, an explosive motor and is an extremely physical player.  He was drafted by the Jets in the 2020 draft.  

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Gavin Olson, RT. Gavin plays right next to me. He’s a young player with tremendous talent.  He’s a lot like me ,and I know that’s one of the reasons why I appreciate him so much. He’s one of those head down and ready to work type of guys. He continues to get better day in and day out on and off the field. I believe that he will accomplish any goal he sets. He has huge potential.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

JUCO, the full experience. It was my first time being away from home and my family. I had to overcome all the odds that came along with the experience as a whole. I spent many days and nights not knowing what was going to come next. I persevered and stuck with it through all the ups and downs. I never gave up. I hung on to my faith and belief that in time, it would all be worth it.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

My biggest accomplishment is definitely my First Team All-OVC award this past season. It really hit home for me. All my hard work, blood, sweat and tears had come full circle. To just sit in the moment and reflect about my journey, to realize that someone recognized my talent, that I was 1 out of 11 selected for the award means everything to me.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

Vs. Kentucky. The play that comes to mind is one where our quarterback, John Bachus, gets the ball jammed out. While scrambling, the ball pops out and is bouncing around on the field.  As this is happening, I’m running to the sideline on an angle to meet the linebacker who’s trying to pick it up. I hit him into the corner. Now both of them are on the ground and the ball goes out of bounds. It’s still our ball and we have to punt. It was a good hustle play that we all love to see from the O-line. 

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

Baseball. I played it growing up starting with little league. I played at the catcher and 1st baseman positions all the way up through high school before I chose to focus on football. It was tied as my favorite sport when I was coming up. I enjoyed traveling and the tournaments. To this day, I value the lifelong friendships I made. 

What was your major/minor? Other than football, what would be your dream job?

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with focus on Management

My dream job would still include football because my passion is football. I would be a coach.  Playing the sport for all these years has instilled within me many great characteristics of a coach.  

What have you been working on in the off-season?

With COVID-19, this off-season has been different than any of years past. It’s given me much time to improve myself. I’ve been working out, running, working on pulling, run blocking & footwork and just perfecting my craft. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My favorite NFL team is the New Orleans Saints.

A couple players that I like to watch are: Marshal Yanda -retired, Tyron Smith and Jason Kelce

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any secret talents?

In my spare time, I love to watch football, and I value my time spent with my family and friends.  A couple of my hobbies are listening to music and playing video games.

Why do you play football? 

I play football because I’m a physical person and I fell in love with it at an early age. From the beginning, according to my parents, if I had a ball in my hands, I was happy. Football has kept me grounded and focused. It was my way out and has taught me so much more than the game over the years. I’m an example of how believing in yourself, talent and hard work can pay off.  None of this came easy. Lastly, I love to make my family proud.

Who or what motivates you the most?

FAMILY! I could go on forever about them. They’ve been with me every step of the way and supported all my decisions. I can’t thank them enough. They’re the reason I am here. S/O to them for believing in me and guiding me in the right direction. 


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