Davis Anderson, a 6-2, 190-pound senior defensive back from Apple Valley (MN) High, is the one of the latest players to commit to Minnesota as a preferred walk-on.
Gopher Hole recently caught up Anderson to learn more about his decision.
Gopher Hole: What was the main reason that you decided to commit to Minnesota as a preferred walk-on?
Davis Anderson: When I meet the coaches, I could just tell that they genuinely cared about the players. It wasn't just about winning. It was about developing them and being a good person.
Gopher Hole: I know that you played well down the stretch this season at Apple Valley, winning the section title before losing to eventual state champion Owatonna in a game that I attended. How pleased were you with how well you played, especially down the stretch?
Davis Anderson: We were really happy because we started out 0-4. We had big expectations going into this season and we said that we had to get it going and we found our stride at the end of the season. We didn't win a state championship, but we made a run at it. We were a 6-6 team in the state quarterfinals, so that is pretty cool.
Gopher Hole: What have the Gophers said to you at position? Are you probably going to play safety?
Davis Anderson: They are talking to me about safety, but they also flirted with the idea of maybe outside linebacker, if I get bigger.
Gopher Hole: Have you ever played linebacker or have you been mostly a defensive back throughout your career?
Davis Anderson: In middle school, I used to play outside linebacker. I was raised playing that position. This is only my second year playing safety, so I'm not likely an extremely experience safety. I just try to figure my way out. I go down to the box sometimes in high school and play nickel.
Gopher Hole: I am sure that the coaches bring up other preferred walk-ons who have been successful like Aaron Hill, a linebacker and Peter Mortell, their punter who was a preferred walk-on and is now on scholarship? Is that something that they brought up to you that if you work hard that could maybe be you down the road?
Davis Anderson: Yes. Actually, when I took my official visit they were talking about all these walk-ons that were starting this year. I think it was like seven players or five players. I thought that was pretty cool. I'm all about earning my spot. I don't want anything to be handed to me. I'm ready to work for it.
Gopher Hole: Your host, Chad Fahning, is a walk-on and his roommate Nick Hart, is also a walk-on. Did you get a good perspective from them about what it is like to walk-on?
Davis Anderson: Yes. They are great people there. From talking to them and the meetings with the other players, they all respect you the same and they are all genuinely interested in you and they all seemed to care. Sometimes, guys are lame or can't talk, but they are all cool dudes.
Gopher Hole: What others schools were you looking at besides Minnesota?
Davis Anderson: I was looking at St. Thomas, Drake, Penn and Augustana, but I decided to go the "U.”
Gopher Hole: Had you had a chance to go to many Gopher games?
Davis Anderson: I went to two or three, I think.
Gopher Hole: Do you remember who they played?
Davis Anderson: I went to Penn State and the Wisconsin game. I went to two.
Gopher Hole: Did you attend any other college games?
Davis Anderson: I went to some Drake games and a St. Thomas game.
Gopher Hole: Were any of the schools talking to you about a scholarship?
Davis Anderson: I got offers from Crookston and Augustana.
Gopher Hole: Were those partial scholarship offers?
Davis Anderson: Yes.
Gopher Hole: Was it hard to turn down some money to be paying your own way?
Davis Anderson: Not really for me because I am going after my dream. I don't want money to get in the way. I am just going to go for it.
Gopher Hole: Had you grown up as a Gopher fan?
Davis Anderson: Yes. I have always been a Minnesota boy. Having the dreams and this is it.
Gopher Hole: What things are you going to be working on leading up until June to get ready for college playing at the next level?
Davis Anderson: I am training, like doing weightlifting, five days a week and I still train with Tyrone Carter two days a week.
Gopher Hole: Tyrone Carter is a former Gopher standout. Did that have much of an impact on you looking at Minnesota?
Davis Anderson: Yes. I thought it was a perfect fit for me. I started working with him in the summer and I said if I am going to stay local, I need to work with him throughout my career, if he is still here, hopefully.
Gopher Hole: Did you go to one of the Gopher football camps or how did they find out about you?
Davis Anderson: I met Tyrone and I did one of his camps and I stood out. He asked me "Why is no one looking at you" and showed me to the Gophers and they liked my film,
Gopher Hole: You didn't go to any of the Gopher camps, right? They just saw your film and that is how you got noticed/
Davis Anderson: Yes.
Gopher Hole: You visited Minnesota the weekend of the 17th of January. Have you stayed in contact with any of the others kids that were there that weekend?
Davis Anderson: Yes. I am actually planning on rooming with Payton Jordahl, the long snapper and Jacques Perra, the quarterback.
Gopher Hole: You used to play basketball back in the day. When did you quit playing?
Davis Anderson: I thought that I wanted to just focus on football at that young age, but I regret quitting basketball. I don't regret quitting track. I quit track last year, but I regret quitting basketball and skiing. Those were the two things.