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April 27, 2012 @ 7:56 pm
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs Address Linebacker, Take David

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers addressed another major weakness with the selection of Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David. The former Cornhusker is happy to be a Buccaneer and promised head coach Greg Schiano he will make his selection count.
The Buccaneers continued their wheeling and dealing ways, and moved up for the second night in a row to select a player that they coveted, taking Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David with the 58th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay traded up ten spots to get back into the second round to grab David, giving up their third and fourth-round picks to Houston, and gaining the Texans’ seventh-round pick.

On a conference call just minutes after being drafted by the Buccaneers, David said he is excited to be a Buccaneer.

“I saw that Tampa Bay's big need was linebacker, but I wasn't sure they were going to come at me. It was very surprising. Throughout the process I haven't really talked to Tampa Bay as much, but it's a blessing to be part of the organization.

“At first I thought I was going to fall to the Eagles, and then I saw them pick another guy. Then I had a possibility of going to Tennessee because I took a visit there, but I saw that didn't pan out.

“So I started getting anxious more and more, and that’s when the call from coach Schiano came and he told me what was going on. I held my breath. I was very excited. I wish you guys could have seen the look on my face. I told him thank you for everything, and I'm going to make it count.”

David’s production was tremendous in his two seasons for the Cornhuskers totaling 285 tackles.

David played his first two seasons at Fort Scott Community College before transferring to Nebraska for the 2010 season. David recorded 123 tackles (70 solo), 25 tackles for loss, three interceptions, four sacks, and two forced fumbles in the 12 games he played for Fort Scott in 2009.

David talked about the process of attending a junior college.

“It was a really humbling experience, coming from a powerhouse high school where you had a lot of teams looking at you and recruiting and stuff,” David said. “And then not being able to qualify to go to a Division 1 school and having to go to a junior college, it was very humbling.

“I learned you can't take anything for granted. You have to thank the Lord and I thank the Lord every day. He got me on this path and I just followed his plan and it led me the right way.”

In his first year with Nebraska, David set a single-season school record with 152 tackles for the year. He also tallied six sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, and eight passes defended.

As a senior in 2011, Nebraska changed their defensive strategy to a more traditional 4-3 scheme, where David was assigned to play the Will (weakside) linebacker position. He adjusted seamlessly into the new scheme and play very well for Bo Pelini and the Huskers. David accounted for 133 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and two passes defended.

Now a professional football player, David will recognize a familiar face when he walks into the team facility for the first time.

“(Buccaneers cornerback) Anthony Gaitor was my teammate in high school, we won a championship together (at Northwestern in Miami). He can be a guy to kind of guide me a little bit, show me the ropes a little bit because he's got a year under his sleeve. He can teach me the ins and outs and stuff; it's a positive.”

Bucs head coach Greg Schiano talked about the love David has for the game of football shortly after the selection was made.

“Guys that love the game, and everybody says they love it, but guys that live it – this guy (David) lives it,” Schiano said. “You have to kick him out of the facility, he trains, he’s all about football – those guys are generally – I’ve never had one that wasn’t tough. That’s so important to them so they’re going to do whatever it takes to win that football game. That’s what I mean when you talk about these three guys (Mark Barron, Doug Martin and David).”

David confirmed Schiano’s sentiment.

“I started playing football when I was 6 years old and I haven't missed a beat, haven't missed a year ever since,” David said. “I've been playing football my whole life. I'm very passionate about it; I just love the game. It's all fun, and I'm going to give my all and play as long as I can.”

- Eric Dellaratta and Andrew Scavelli contributed to this report

Last modified on Saturday, 28 April 2012 13:01

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  • avatar

    An amazingly productive player at a good program who played against good competition. This guy makes our LB corps a lot stronger. A position that we had to address early and thankfully Bucs management was willing to move up and get him. This guy moves into a starter position from game one.
  • avatar

    Dominik and Schiano are doing a great job of addressing needs and taking players they covet. Dominik has done a great job of dealing picks to get into the right position. The thing I like most about this draft isn't the fact that they're addressing needs, it's the drafting of quality football players and who appear to be quality people as well.
  • avatar

    Great Job Dom,Coach and Staff, Im so excited!!!! GO BUCS!!!!
  • avatar

    Agree this is a FANTASTIC job by Dominik and Schiano...they know what they're doing. Also heard that Barron asked for the playbook when he got the call he was drafted! Gotta love that!!
  • avatar

    Dom has worked miracles with that 5-7 trade. No we didnt get Mo, but we got the best SS in the draft. We may have to play CB by committee this year but so far Barron, Martin, and Lavonte (2 Rd1s, and an Rd2) are superb pics and values. That 4th Rd aquisition may prove to be the instrument that turned the tide for the 2012 Bucs. I am really pleased. (Now if Dennard keeps falling????) Go Bucs
  • avatar

    I am very pleased with our selections thus far, Dominik has really outdone himself in this draft. The only thing still missing is SPEED!!! If Lamar Miller is not an option for them, I would love to see CHRIS RAINEY get drafted later today. He is one of the most EXPLOSIVE & VERSATILE (RB, WR, KR, PR) players left in the draft. Get Rainey later on, and he'll be our poor man's Sproles. GO BUCS !!!
  • avatar

    reggaebuc; I hear you and agree, but our need is still a CB so I hope we stay focused on that.
  • avatar

    This kid is the steal of the draft! He is going to be the best draft pick of this year!
  • avatar

    Was just reading Gil Brandt's 100 best player list and he has the three guys we drafted all within his top 60. Regardless of exactly where on his list, it's reassuring given Brandt's credentials. Certainly true that rookies are rookies and we know nothing until the game is played, but in the context of enjoying the off season and veiwing the draft as its own game ... this is good stuff! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I also agree with Owlykat. The only adjustment I would make is I would use the last 7th round pick on V. Burflict instead of a backup G/C. I think we could find a decent backup G/C in the undrafted FA pool.
  • avatar

    Absolutely right 110171. That's exactly what Dominik did. But don't forget our own 5, 6 and 7 we still have. We started with 6 selections and will end up , absent any more wheeling and dealing with 7; plus the added quality by those choices being higher. Dominik has been like Monte Hall on this draft that right now looks like one of the finest in years. Think about this. Assuming our young defensive line stays healthy and together it is set, our starting linebackers if Quincy plays like expected are now set, if Talib remains a free man, one of our recent draftees develops, Eric Wright lives up to expectations and Cody Grimm recovers we might just be set at the back end, the offensive line is set, the running back tandem is set, the wideouts are set, the TE's are potentially set and the QB is set. All the youngsters need is a little guidance and time to develop and this could be a quick "worst to first."
  • avatar

    110171 - Don't forget Amobi Okoye! Another excellent value FA pickup who solidifies our interior D-Line....Quality picks who will start right away and have impact.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dominick came into the draft with a 1, 2, and a 3 and no 4. He turned that into a 1, 1, 2 and a 7. That sounds pretty good to me. He addressed 3 major needs in Barron, Martin and David. He addressed 3 major needs in free agency with Vincent Jackson, Carl nicks and Eric Wright. Dominick deserves some credit. I think the front office is doing an excellent job.
  • avatar

    Pinch me - am I dreaming?
  • avatar

    Another solid pick. In reality we have only used one low 4th round pick to get the guys we want so far. The way it is going we might as well trade up in the last half of the 4th and grab a CB if he is there, even if we have to give up our 5th 6th and the Houston 7th. Our 7th round pick we choose another CB.
  • avatar

    David is the real deal for weakside LB. I watched his video and I am sold. Foster is big enough and talented enough to play strongside LB. Quincy Black has the experience reading offenses in the NFL and is being paid the kind of money to be a great MLB. If he stays healthy I believe he can do it. We have backup linebackers already, including Watson who could start at strongside himself. I would use the 5th round pick on the best CB I could find, the 6th on Chris Rainey, who has the speed to break a game open. After Blount and Martin punish opposing defenses and wear them out, Chris Rainey can come in and take it to the house. Martin is a great back but does not have elite speed. Rainey can also be a deep pass threat as well, and block kicks on special teams and run back kicks. With one of the seventh round picks I would take a good blocking fullback, to free up Lorig to use his 275 pounds as a blocking TE who has soft hands and is a good athlete. Lorig could also help produce touchdowns in the red zone. The other 7th round pick should be used on a center-guard to train and put on the practice squad so if a guard goes down and Larsen has to replace him, we could pull a trained center off the practice squad to back up our center. I hope Shiano will see how good a catching tight end Demar Dotson can be, because we know he can block, and as an ex-basketball player and a good athlete, we could use two blocking TE's sometimes (Lorig and Dotson) and really pound our opposition. That would help Trueblood, who has trouble blocking elite DE's too. Get Hardy back from the Saints Practice Squad as future replacement for Winslow and the Bucs are Set!
  • avatar

    owlykat, that makes a lot of sense and I hope it happens.
  • avatar

    When talking about what we gave up in order to move up into the 2 nd round, I think we need to look at the fact that the 4th was a late 4th (almost 5th round) pick.
  • avatar

    Me no like . . . . . . Me LOVE !! I really like this pick, and actually the way the whole draft has gone for us. I just wish we didn't have to give up so much to get this one. It seemed way more costly than the move into the first round !?!?!?? But, the picks have been fantastic. Long wait now. Go Bucs ! ! !
  • avatar

    Me like, me like.
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