Carriker Chronicles: Khalil and Carlos Davis on the Blackshirt tradition, Erik Chinander’s defense and more

April 11, 2018 GMT

All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the “Carriker Chronicles” video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X’s and O’s and more.

In Wednesday’s episode, Carriker talks to Husker defensive linemen Khalil and Carlos Davis about the Blackshirt tradition, spring practices, Scott Frost, Erik Chinander’s 3-4 defense and more.

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Here’s a transcript of today’s show:

Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people’s show, where each and every day I’m checking the pulse of Husker Nation brought to you by the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Full disclosure, I just came from working out, I have not showered, and it smells wonderful in here ladies and gentlemen. To the people behind the camera, you’re welcome. We just got a little bit closer today. Today, I am joined by the Davis twins, Carlos and Khalil. How you guys doing?


Davis twins: We’re doing good.

Adam Carriker: I want to thank you guys for joining me, and right out the gate I want to ask you what’s been different about winter conditioning? That’s been talked about a little bit. What’s been different about spring practice versus your first couple of years here at Nebraska?

Davis twins: Outside of the football part, the biggest difference for us has been the way we eat, our sleep schedule, and learning about all of that and how it can help us on the football field. We’ve made a lot of progress throughout training, so it’s been fun.

Adam Carriker: Talk to me about the sleep schedule. What does that mean, the sleep schedule?

Davis twins: A lot of it was just about how eight hours of sleep can help recovery and stop sickness. Coaches big thing is that his workouts are hard, but you need to sleep to recover. Once we took that in, and we started to see the effects and how our bodies were recovering, it was cool to see.

Adam Carriker: All right, now I got to ask. Carlos or Khalil, which one is older?

Carlos Davis: Me, Carlos. I was born first.

Adam Carriker: Haha, I have twin daughters, and my one twin, Dakota, is about six minutes older than Desi, so she will forevermore be the elder. So I’m going to ask the older one this question first. Carlos, what does it mean being a Blackshirt to you? And what is it going to take to restore to the level of prestige that everybody wants it to be again?


Carlos Davis: First off, I think it means more to Khalil and me because our uncle was a Blackshirt. Not everybody knows this, but we grew up on Nebraska football. That’s all we knew. He got us started young and taught us about the Blackshirts. So when I got my Blackshirt last year, I almost shed a tear but it was right before practice so I had to keep it together. So that was a big dream and a goal for us when we came in. The biggest thing people forget, is when they give it to you your job is to keep it. They take it away if you don’t perform the way you’re supposed to and practice, or on and off the field. I think to restore the Blackshirts, we need to get a sense of what the Blackshirts were. Coach Frost has brought that back, same with Coach Duval. The biggest thing is listening to them.

Adam Carriker: Now, Khalil, what was it like, on Saturday we had about a hundred former players, myself included, talking to you guys. What was that like seeing all those former players back supporting the program, and excited?

Khalil Davis: Awesome, I love it. It was cool to see the guys that came before us and paved the way for us and gave us the inside on the Blackshirt way and how to do things. It was awesome because I love being taught and learning from older players. So it was just awesome for me.

Adam Carriker: Khalil, who did you guys look up to as kids? Who are some of your favorite guys from Nebraska that you watched when you were young?

Khalil Davis: A lot of people don’t know this, but my favorite player growing up was Ahman Green. I used to wear his number and eighth grade and in Little League. Ahman Green was definitely one of my favorite players.

Adam Carriker: Now I got to ask, sibling rivalry, who is faster? Like, in a 20-yard Sprint, who is going to win between Carlos and Khalil Davis?

Khalil Davis: Khalil.

Adam Carriker: Who’s stronger then?

Khalil Davis: Collectively, it would be Carlos, the older twin. I’m stronger in the legs, but he is stronger in the upper body.

Adam Carriker: All right so we got to have a tiebreaker. I’m a WWE guy, so in a steel cage and the heavyweight world championship match, who’s going to win? Who’s going to walk out of the steel cage as the heavyweight champion of the world, Carlos or Khalil?

Khalil Davis: we’ve had the question before, and what we always say is nobody would win. We would both hurt each other, so the winner would be whoever did the dirtiest thing.

Adam Carriker: I like that another answer would be, you swerve the crowd, beat up another tag team and walk out as tag team Champs. That could be another answer. So talk to me about the 3-4. Last year’s 3-4 didn’t go phenomenally, but there is a difference. Talk to me about the difference between the 3-4 under Diaco in the 3-4 under Chinander. Talk to me about the biggest difference for you big guys up front, with your footwork and your reads. What’s the biggest difference from last year?

Davis twins: Our biggest thing is, we are not reading any O-linemen. We’re not reacting to them. We are trying to make the first move. Nothing the O-linemen does is going to dictate what we do. We’re trying to knock them back and reset the line of scrimmage. After that it would be chasing the ball. Last year, the big difference was running to the ball, but this year inside wise, the biggest difference in our technique is striking and not reacting to what they do.

Adam Carriker: As a guy that did both reading and reacting, and penetrating up the field, penetrating up the field was a lot more fun and it’s not even close. Do you have any questions for me, because we have interacted a few times when I’ve come back to Nebraska. Nothing lengthy, I think we ran into each other at a volleyball match and Ogallala, Nebraska a couple of years ago. Is there anything you would like to ask of myself?

Davis twins: as a former Blackshirt, what would be some tips you would give us? We’re halfway through spring ball, and we’re getting ready to enter fall camp coming into the season.

Adam Carriker: My biggest thing, you want to try to catch on to the playbook as quickly as you can. I know we’ve talked about it, but this is going to be a lot more fun for you guys. You guys are going to get to create a lot more havoc. Both games have been effective, but as far as defensive lineman, this one is more fun. To me, the biggest thing is just the mentality. Being a Blackshirt is different, man, it’s relentless, never giving up or letting up. It’s being willing to do things. I talked a little bit about this to the team. Other people think you’re crazy, you’re not, they look at you sideways. They don’t want to do it, they’re not willing to touch it, but they’re not getting better and you are. Blackshirts are not normal, and that’s a good thing. It’s just a mentality. Okay, I got one more question for you. Talk to me about Mike Dawson, the new defensive line coach. Every defensive line coach emphasizes different things, so what are some things he’s been emphasizing these first few days of practice?

Davis twins: The first thing he told us from day one, is we’re going to strike. We’re going to knock them back and put a dent in the line of scrimmage. That’s been our focus from day one. He just wants us to get our hands on the offensive lineman, strike, and knock them back. Also, no fear of failure has been a big one. When you’re not worried about making mistakes, you’re going to make them, but if you do it at a hundred miles per hour, they’ll accept that and correct it in the film room.

Adam Carriker: Yeah, I would agree it’s better to do it wrong going a hundred miles an hour then do it right going 80 miles an hour. It just doesn’t work that way. I want to thank you guys for joining me, I look forward to seeing you at practice, and until next time Husker Nation, Go Big Red and always remember…

Davis twins: THROW THEM BONES!!!