CLEMSON — Clemson senior offensive lineman Kalon Davis is a different cat.
It makes sense then, that since the start of offseason workouts, he’s been wearing contact lenses that resemble catlike eyes.
“I usually get a double take then they smile and walk away,” Davis said. “I always get a smile. That’s a good sign I guess. Some people ask me about it. Some people are like, ‘That’s really cool, I’ve never seen anything like that before.’”
How is the head coach taking it?
“I guess as long as they are prescription and I can see — he doesn’t mind,” Davis said.
Well, not exactly.
“Those contacts? They are the most awful thing I’ve seen in my life,” Dabo Swinney said with a smile. “It’s awful. First time I saw them in MAT drills. I was standing on the Paw and it freaked me out. I said what in the heck is in your eyes. He said contacts. If you know Kalon, he’s kinda goofy like that.
“That’s his swag I guess. Some people like flatbills and all that stuff — he’s the funky contact guy.”
The Chester native is one of three Tiger o-lineman back who started seven or more games last season.
Clemson brings back five who played at least 340 snaps in 2013. Overall, 44 percent of the o-line snaps and 52.3 percent of the starts return.
The 6-5 340-pound Davis played 500 snaps even last season, mostly at left guard.
This spring, he is working at both guard positions and right tackle among a group on the first and second o-line teams swapping out.
Davis working around with special contacts
Davis getting double-takes, doing triple-duty
“It gives me a little versatility and knows that wherever he needs me and I got to be — I can be there,” Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys with (Tyrone) Crowder stepping in and also (Eric) Mac (Lain). We’re just trying to work in a lot of rotations — something we haven’t been able to do in a while. We’re just mixing and matching a lot of rotations.
“Left guard is really anyone’s game. We’re still mixing and matching. We’ve had Mac, (David) Beasley — I don’t think Crowder has but I’m sure he can do it.”
Although the personality makes him stand out, Swinney says he has attributes that make it easier for him to handle all that’s being thrown at him.
“He’s one of the more interesting personalities on our team,” he said. “He’s very, very smart. He’s a very cerebral player. He’s a soccer player. He can really move. I’m proud of his development. He’s come into his own. Shown his oats a little bit. He’s (also) feeling good about his décor.”
Davis’ summer plans, as typical, are atypical for your average football player.
He will spend the summer one session on an internship in Japan for his major, modern languages.
“I wonder how many Japanese majors are playing major college football?” Swinney said. “He’s unique in that area too. He’s gonna go do that and swears he has a place to work out already located in Japan. Hopefully he leaves those contacts at home. He’s a scary looking guy as it is. He’s a big man. Maybe he’ll be a sumo wrestler.
“That would be great.”