That changed as the season went on.
Davis, a redshirt sophomore, is still trying to find that place where he fits in best.
“I know that we just have to keep competing,” he said. “The more of us that get better and ready to help the team the better.”
Tanner Strickland worked side-by-side with Davis during the fall while the Bulldogs were auditioning left tackle candidates to replace Sturdivant, and he thinks Davis can be one of those guys who helps the Bulldogs.
“I have complete faith in Josh that he can step up and fill whatever shoes he needs to fill,” Strickland said. “He is good to communicate with you. I feel great. He’s one of the more slender linemen as far as appearance, but he’s a good 300-pounder, and he’s quick. That’s important for protecting the blind side of the quarterback.”
Because of the injury-filled season on the offensive line for the Dawgs, Davis has played tackle and some guard this season. He started at tackle against Auburn on Saturday.
“I think there is equal responsibly all across the line,” Davis said. “We all have to work together. Everybody talks about the left tackle and the blind side, but we don’t want to get our quarterback hit from any side.”
At 6-foot-6, Davis is not quite 300 pounds, which is fine with him. In fact, he has dropped weight since arriving in Athens.
“Sure, some people probably do say somewhat undersized, but I have long arms so that makes up for it,” he said. “What you lack in some things, you have to make up in others. You have to play harder.”
Davis was 315 pounds when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Tylertown High School in Jayess, MS. Originally an Ole Miss commitment, Davis changed his mind late in the process and joined the Bulldogs’ 2006 signing class.
He was considered a sleeper then, a three-star prospect who needed to polish his game to take advantage of his physical gifts, and that’s what Davis has been doing for the past two years.
He redshirted in 2006 and then played in eight games in a reserve role last year.
“As far as developing and coming along, I feel like I came along pretty good from last spring to now,” Davis said. “I got in the weight room (in the summer) and got a lot stronger.”
Davis has begun to pay better attention to the smaller details in the weight room and on the field during his third year in the program, he said.
That helped him notice that the things he was doing as part of the Bulldogs’ summer conditioning program have a direct correlation on the field. Take, for instance, the power clean.
“You have to have a good base and roll your hips through and explode with your hips,” he said. “That’s all run blocking is.
“If you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing, you can not do what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “I’ve been working hard trying to get it better. (Searels) always says you can control your attitude and your effort. I always try to give great effort. If I give great effort, everything else will fall in place.”
Davis has tried to improve on his knowledge of the zone blocking scheme and his steps in pass protection as well, he said. A speech communication major, he is in good shape off the field. Davis is an academic junior, and it’s hard for him to believe that so much time has passed.
“It’s flying by too fast to be honest with you,” he said. “We have a great program here and great coaches. When you’re around good people, it goes by real fast.”
Despite being an underclassman on the field, Davis is one of the veterans among Georgia’s young offensive lineman. Only Vince Vance is older.
“I feel like I’m one of the older cats,” he said. “I always want to be a leader, but not necessarily by telling folks to do and all that. I just want to do the right things, if that’s what you call being a leader.”