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Alfred Davis has been promoted at Missouri

Persistence paid off for Ferriday-born and University of Missouri Defensive Line coach Al Davis.

Davis was promoted from defensive analyst to defensive line coach at Missouri on October 3.

“I’ve always been persistent and consistent,” Davis said. 

Davis joined Mizzou earlier this year after coaching the defensive tackles at Illinois in 2020, coaching under Lovie Smith. Davis’ season at Illinois came following three years at Hutchinson Community College where he had been promoted to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator.

He was a defensive graduate assistant coach at Arkansas for the 2014-16 seasons after lettering for the Razorbacks from 2009-12. He served as captain as a senior in 2012.

When Smith was fired at Missouri, Davis was left looking for a job.

“I’ve always stayed in contact with all the coaches I know to stay fresh in the memory,” Davis said.

Missouri coach Elijah Drinkwitz said he got to know Davis starting in 2013 when he was a volunteer coach at Fayetteville High School before returning to Arkansas as a graduate assistant from 2014-16.

“We worked with mutual coaches,” Davis said. “‘Drink’ and I were texting. I was always asking him how he was doing and telling him I hoped and looked forward to working with him in the future.”

Missouri started off this year 1-3. After getting beat by Tennessee 62-24, Drinkwitz fired defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and promoted Davis.

“After a careful review, I believe a change in direction at the defensive line coach was needed,” Drinkwitz said in a press release. “Jethro is a professional and man of high character, and we wish him all the best moving forward. Al is a strong, charismatic leader. He has a great work ethic, instant credibility from his time playing in the SEC, performing at a high level in the SEC. He’s coached at a high level and I think he’ll do well.”

“Every coach is different,” Davis said “I’m a younger guy with a lot of energy and I believe in fundamentals and teaching. I’m going to continue teaching the basics and working hard on fundamentals. Franklin is a good coach and knows the ins and outs. But the kids weren’t performing. I’m excited to be on the field again.”

In his first game as defensive line coach, the Tigers defeated North Texas 48-35.

Missouri players combined for four sacks, a fumble recovery and two interceptions.

“We had one defensive lineman tip the ball to another lineman,” Davis said. “The score may not indicate it, but our defense did play well. They played with a lot of fire, which I feel is a representation of me. We made mistakes, but we will get those corrected.”

Missouri fell to Texas A&M Saturday, 35-14. A&M was coming off an upset win over Alabama.

The Tigers play at Vanderbilt Saturday.

Davis lettered at Arkansas from 2009-12. He served as captain as a senior in 2012.

As a player, Davis appeared in 49 games, including the final 44 of his career, with 16 starts. After his playing career, Davis interned at Fayetteville High School in 2012 and was a volunteer coach for the Fayetteville High School football team in 2013 before returning to the Razorbacks’ sideline.

A native of College Park, Ga., Davis earned his bachelor’s degree (2012) and master’s degree (2015) in sports management from the University of Arkansas. He was a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll as well as the Athletic Department Honor Roll in the fall of 2009 and the Athletic Director’s List in the fall of 2012. He was also nominated for the 2013 Brad Davis SEC Community Service Postgraduate Scholarship.

Lewis left Ferriday at the age of 12 when his family moved to Georgia. At Banneker High in College Park, Ga., Davis was rated the No. 99 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.Com.

“Ferriday is still a big part of my life,” he said.

Davis signed more than 40 players for Hutchinson in two years.

Hutchinson, the alma mater of New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, had arguably the best team in Hutchinson football history posted the highest final national ranking in team history.

The 2019 Blue Dragons finished the season 10-2 after a Salt City Bowl victory over Monroe College and finished No. 3 in Monday’s final NJCAA Rankings.

Davis has coached in three bowl games and played in three more. He hopes to add to that total at Missouri.

“”I got the opportunity and I’m taking advantage of it,” Davis said. “I always wanted to work at the highest level and you don’t get any better than the SEC.”

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