FSU opponents always knew when Buster Davis was on the field -- both by his jarring hits and his relentless chatter. A Walter Camp and American Football Coaches 2nd Team All-American, Davis had 127 tackles and eight sacks over his career from 2003-06. As a pro he had good years at Detroit, Indy and Houston. In early 2011 he had an offer to go north of the border to play for Canadian Football League champion Montreal. But Buster knew it was time for a change. Not from football -- just to a different place on the field.
Signing on as a grad assistant at the University of South Dakota, Davis was given a big role in coaching the Coyotes' linebackers. He saw it as a first step on a long journey to being a head coach in college or the NFL. His ultimate goal? A return to Doak Campbell Stadium as the face of the program.
Here's part one of our recent interview with the articulate Mr. Davis, as he talks about his days as a Seminole and how he matured, both on and off the field.
What was your favorite game at FSU?
Davis: It would probably have to be that Penn State game (2006 Orange Bowl). That'll go down in history as one of the greatest games at Florida State because of the rivalry between Coach Paterno and Coach Bowden -- going back and forth for the most wins. Playing in the Orange Bowl...a BCS game. Even though we came out on the short end of the stick, it was still a great competitive game. And it signified what both programs have meant to college football.
What's your favorite memory of playing Florida?
Davis: Probably my senior year when I was able to wear number 50, Ron Simmons retired jersey. I had talked to Ron about a year and a half before that. I had bugged Monk Bonasorte about it, because he had introduced me to Ron one day. And I became a fan ever since. I wanted to wear number 50 the whole year, but he wouldn't give it to me, just let me pick one game to wear it. So I picked that game, my last game at Doak. And that truly meant a lot to me. Then, of course, we were playing our rival. So the whole day was a great experience.
What's the game you wish you could play over?
Davis: That Penn State game was so big for us. If we'd made one extra point we'd never have gone to overtime. We would have won the game. So that's one of the games I'd like to play over.
What's the story of how you came to sign with FSU?