David, however, took a more circuitous path to stardom, making a stop at Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) before heading to the University of Nebraska. Even though he may have started his college career off the radar, David figures to be drafted before any of his high school teammates.
The former Northwestern Bulls linebacker recently joined the Finsiders to talk about his path to the NFL and what type of player he’ll be at the next level.
Because of a poor test score, David was forced to bypass major college football and spend time at junior college out of high school. What was probably initially seen as deterrent ended up being changing David as a player and a person.
“Junior college humbled me,” David said. “The stuff I learned there kind of helped me succeed at the University of Nebraska.”
It could have been pretty easy for a player to lose faith in a similar situation, and David admitted that there were times where he didn’t know if he’d be in the position he’s in now. But after a successful stint at Fort Scott, he was given a chance to continue to develop at Nebraska.
“They gave me the opportunity,” David said. “They told me I could play football for a very long time if I just put my mind to it and do what’s asked of me.”
David made the most of his opportunity, immediately producing a school-record 152 tackles in 2010. His performance during his two years in Lincoln helped ready him for the NFL.
“Being around a defensive-minded coach like Bo Pelini and the type of stuff he runs is kind of like the same thing NFL defenses run,” David said.”So I think the transition could play out very well.”
If you turn on tape of the Nebraska defense from the past two seasons, it’s only a matter of time before you see David making a play in the backfield. NFL scouts like his nose for the ball, but every pre-draft evaluation notes that he’s smaller than a prototypical linebacker. The label is nothing new for David.
“I get the undersized thing all the time,” he said, “but I just continue playing like I always have.”
During the pre-draft process, David hasn’t let any outside influences affect his attitude.
“I don’t really pay attention to the mock drafts, I just try to focus on myself,” David said. “Whichever team calls my name on draft day, I’d be proud to play for that team and that particular city.”
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