- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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Checking in on Syracuse’s fall camp with linebacker Dyshawn Davis.
David Hale: You’ve got a week of camp under your belt. How do you feel like things are going?
Dyshawn Davis: It’s going smoothly. I feel like I’m getting better every day. With the older guys, on the field, when things get tough and your tired, you know how to fight through it, to mentally be strong and lead the way for my teammates. In our position group, we’ve got a lot of young guys coming in [who] are going to be special in the next couple years, and I just try to show them great leadership so when their time comes, they can just follow in my footsteps.
Hale: You and Cam Lynch are both going into your senior seasons as two of the top linebackers in the conference. Have you guys talked about wanting to end your Syracuse careers with a bang and doing something special before you leave?
Davis: Absolutely. You know, me and Cam came in together. I came in the spring before him, but we ended up learning a lot and it later came down to a time when me and Cam had to compete for a spot. I ended up beating him out, but we built a relationship strong. Now Cam is my roommate, so I’m kind of with him 24/7. We’re in camp, the same position group, we go home and sleep in the same apartment.
That relationship is like no other, and to be able to be leaders on this team and lean on each other for anything and everything — it’s just wonderful. And Cam is a great guy, he’s been through a lot, but he’s always been there for me. I’m looking forward to having a special season with him and doing some great things this year.
Hale: You mentioned the young guys have impressed you. Anyone in particular standing out so far?
Davis: Parris Bennett, Zaire [Franklin], we’ve got Jonathan Thomas — they’ve been doing a great job. To me, what’s impressive, they came in and we were doing conditioning, and they came in in shape. I always lead the way, me and Cam, pushing the group, pushing the team, and a lot of freshmen, the bigger guys come in overweight and out of shape and were kind of falling down. But the young freshmen linebackers were just right there by me and Cam’s side, picking the team up, picking other players up.
For them to be so young and have that fire and drive and show us they’re willing to do whatever they can to compete and play and make our group better, it was pretty special to see that. I’m just always reminding them that if they keep that fire and that drive, that’s going to take them a long way.
Hale: There’s been so much debate about how good Terrel Hunt can be in his second season as the starting quarterback. As you’ve gone against him in seven-on-seven drills over the summer, have you seen a real improvement in his game?
Davis: I’ve been competing with Terrel all summer and now into camp. To see his confidence, to see his poise of how he controls the offense, it’s been great. You can see the difference from last year to this year. He’s getting great with his mechanics, calling the offense.
Terrel will be good for us this year, and he knows that our season is his destiny. However far he takes us, that’s how far we’re going to go. I’ve got 110 percent confidence in him, right behind him while he’s leading us to compete for an ACC championship.
Hale: The other buzzword on the offense seems to be tempo. As a defender, has it felt different going up against that up-tempo offense in camp?
Davis: The tempo has been great. They’ve got some speed over there, [Prince] Tyson Gulley, George Morris, a great rotation at running back. Brisly Estime in the slot, Jarrod West, Ashton Broyld -- all those guys have been doing a good job of keeping the tempo up. We’ve got linemen who lost weight and are able to move faster now, in better shape. The offensive tempo is good, especially for us going against them. They have us prepared for the other offenses in the ACC that run that tempo.