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CB Davis could have NFL future
By Lindsey Willhite | Daily Herald Staff

Illinois' Vontae Davis tackles Wisconin's Andy Crooks as he makes a reception during the first half of a football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006, in Madison, Wis. The play set up a Wisconsin field goal in Wisconsin's 30-24 win.


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Published: 8/3/2008 11:36 PM

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RANTOUL - According to one NFL draft web site, Illinois junior cornerback Vontae Davis ranks as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2009 draft.

Yes, overall.

That makes it sound like Vontae will join his older brother, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, in the NFL sooner as opposed to later.

"I've already talked to him about it," said coach Ron Zook. "Hey, if he's a three (years)-and-out guy, then God bless him."

As he prepares for Illinois' first 2008 practice at Camp Rantoul, Davis claims he couldn't be less concerned about his pro prospects.

"I'm mostly worried about camp and getting screamed at by coach Zook," he said with a laugh. "If I was looking into it, I'd talk to coach Zook because he knows more about it than me.

"I just enjoy playing for him. If anything, I'd play here for seven years if I could cuz I enjoy playing for the program and the university."

Davis' absurdly chiseled body continues to be a source of concern for strength and conditioning coach Lou Hernandez.

Specifically, Davis might not have enough body fat (3 percent) to get through camp.

"Over the break, I had to eat a couple brownies," Davis said. "It's supposed to be 95 degrees and I lose body fat so fast. My friend made 'em for me: Homemade brownies."

Computer 'Tez: Sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson bought the newest NCAA football video game this summer.

He didn't particularly like what he saw.

While star teammates like Vontae Davis and receiver Arrelious Benn received overall ratings of 93, Wilson found himself stuck with a 78.

"I was kind of ashamed of that," Wilson said.

So the prep All-American from Chicago did something about it.

He boosted his speed, tackling and agility ratings to bring his total rating in Davis' and Benn's neighborhood.

Now it's up to Wilson, who boasts 4.4 speed and 4.4 percent body fat on his 245-pound frame, to make the same sudden improvement on a real football field.

During spring ball, Zook busted him down to second team for a day because he had too many missed assignments during a scrimmage.

"After that, I got into the film room a lot more," Wilson said. "On my own."

That has him back to his ultra-confident self. Wilson, who nicknamed himself "Grande Dos" because he wears No. 2, long ago memorized his lofty goals for the fall.

"Eighty-plus tackles," he said. "Five to 8 sacks. Going back to a BCS bowl."

He said it: Sophomore receiver Arrelious Benn, who's 100 percent after offseason surgery on his right shoulder, didn't mince many words Sunday on the eve of Camp Rantoul.

"This is the year we go out and get our respect."

How about individually?

"Last year I was limited because of my shoulder. You haven't seen the real me yet. You've seen flashes, but I haven't reached my full potential yet."