Davis twins set to make first start together as Huskers
It took until the fifth year of their college careers to do it, but when Nebraska’s defense takes the field to open Saturday’s game vs. South Alabama, twin brothers Carlos and Khalil Davis will be out there together as starters for the first time as Huskers.
It seems hard to believe that two defensive linemen who have become fixtures in NU’s rotation had not started a single game alongside each other since arriving in Lincoln.
But while the two have played together 36 times at Nebraska, Saturday will mark Khalil’s first collegiate start (it will be Carlos’ 26th). That means for the first time since their days at Blue Springs (Mo.) High School, the Davis twins will on the field for the game’s opening snap.
“It’ll be awesome,” Khalil said. “It’s even more awesome to know that the coaches felt like this was the best decision. It doesn’t really matter - we’re all playing. But to start my first game, it’s really awesome. It took five years, but I’m a team guy. Wherever they put me, that’s where I’m going to help. That’s where I’m going to be at. I’m just ready to play, play with my brothers.”
Despite never being a starter, Khalil was arguably NU’s best overall defensive lineman last season. He finished with 41 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, forced and recovered a fumble, and had four quarterback hurries as a junior, earning the team’s Defensive Lineman of the Year award.
Starter or not, though, Khalil is just happy to get another chance to help his team win.
“It wasn’t, ‘let’s try to be starters,’ it was more do what you got to do to get on the field and make an impact,” Khalil said. “That’s something we always try to put in our heads. If you work your butt off, good things are going to happen.”
Carlos got his first starter action as a redshirt freshman in 2016, when he started four games after Mick Stoltenberg went down with an injury. He then started all 12 games in 2017, and after coming off the bench for the first three contests of last season, he started the rest of the year in place of an injured Stoltenberg again.
Opening the South Alabama game together will be special for Carlos, which he said was something the brothers had dreamed about since they committed to the Huskers four years ago.
“That was the goal, man,” Carlos said. “Early on we knew that we might not be starters and get to play in the game together, but we always knew that we’d be doing what we love and doing it together. It didn’t matter if we were on the field at the same time. But going into senior year, being able to play starting off the game is going to be a dream.”