Published on October 20th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford0
Donte Davis’ “Choppin The Field” Elevating Athlete’s Game To New Levels!
In 2006, Donte Davis committed to the University of Syracuse to further his football career. Davis was one of only four true freshmen to see the field upon his arrival. His biggest moment while playing for the Orangemen came against Notre Dame in 2008, when he caught the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining. After leaving Syracuse, the receiver would have a stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and later moved on to the CFL where he would play for Montreal Alouettes. While on the Alouettes, Davis found his knack for training. He was training players while an active player and guys would ask his advice on different training methods and techniques that they would see him utilize. Following an injury and not ready to be completely away from the game, Davis begin training athletes full-time. What started out as a favor or just recreational help to teammates would evolve into a business. A business that has blossomed into, Donte training some of the best football players in the world from high school to the pros. Davis’ “Choppin The Field” training and has garnered the attention of several big-time athletes. He expects a number of college football players who will be entering the NFL combine to pay him a visit during the offseason.
I had the opportunity to catch up with, Donte Davis to discuss the benefits of training at, “Choppin The Field,” what traits he looks for in athletes and much more!
How has everything been?
Donte Davis: Good man. I can’t complain. I just moved my business out here [Arizona]; my training company out here. It’s nice. I just moved out here about a month ago.
Before I let you get into your company, let’s talk about the beginning. This all started at The University of Syracuse where you played wide receiver.
Donte Davis: Syracuse man… that’s where it all started, baby. It all started for me… my Michael Jordan moment when he hit that shot, it all started for me, when I scored the winning touchdown against, Notre Dame at Notre Dame with like 20 seconds left. After that, I got my chance in the pros and then I went to the CFL and played with Montreal. Eventually I got hurt. I came out of college in 2011. My first stint was with Tampa Bay [Buccaneers], I got released there and went to Montreal and played a couple of seasons. They won the Grey Cup when I was there. That was cool. To be honest with you, Montreal was one of the most fun cities I have ever been to. You know what they call it, “Little New Orleans.” They got it moving out there, baby. That was a good time period for me playing out there, man.
I learned a lot of things from a lot of these coaches. The coaches that I came across knew the game so well. Like Coach [Marc] Trestman. I think he coached for the Bears at one point. I learned so much from him, and just offensive scheming, how to maneuver and how to do things. And to be real, I learned a lot of stuff from, Doug Marrone at Syracuse. Doug Marrone knows his shit; Jacksonville’s coach. Doug Marrone knows his stuff, man. He’s one of the best offensive minds I’ve been around. It expanded my game when he came to Syracuse like, “Dang, I can do all this?” He was down there out your way calling plays for, Drew Brees for 6-years for the Saints before he came to Syracuse.
To be real with you, when I got hurt, I said, “You know what, I’m not even the type of person to work for somebody.” That’s just not my deal. I move a different type of way. So, I said, I’m going to start my own thing and my own training. I started training boys from Syracuse. Let me backtrack. You know where it started, it actually started in Montreal. I used to train players on the team while I was playing.
When you say training, is this like a speed camp, weight room or all-in-one?
Donte Davis: Bro, in the weight room people would ask, “What do you do to stay fast and strong?” Players on the team was like, “Yo, I’m gonna just do what you do.” So, I used to do these workouts. A lot of unorthodox workouts that people didn’t see 10-years ago with a lot of bands and stuff. They were like, “I need to stay fast like you stay fast during the season.” So, I used to train people when I was on Montreal team. It was me, a couple of the receivers and the star running back.
What was the adjustment like for you from the receiver position playing in Montreal?
Donte Davis: To me it was easier. You give me that much space and it’s too easy. The thing is, out there, I think dudes go harder than in the NFL because they trying to get back in. They got a whole different mindset. They going hard, bro. Practice they are going hard. NFL practices aren’t that hard. These dudes going hard at practice. Coach is really pushing it and all that. Players trying to get in the league. But the biggest thing for me was, I get all this space, I feel like I can do anything I wanted to. Wider field and longer field… what. Ah man, I was going off.
Tell us about the company.
Donte Davis: Shoot man, I started, “Choppin The Field,” in 2015 when I stopped playing football, and my man, it’s taking off. I train a lot of good players, high school, college and pro. It started off as me just wanting to give knowledge to young fellas. And now it’s at a level where, I help a lot of people get to the goal that they wanna reach. Most of their goals or dreams in life is to make the NFL. I’m getting boys to fulfill their dreams. When people come train with me, it doesn’t matter if you are in high school, college or the pros, I tell all of them, more than anything, we are going to push this goddamn needle to get better as a player first. The boy, CeeDee Lamb (University of Oklahoma receiver) just hit me up about a week ago to come train.
When they come to me, they are going to be up a mindset that, ain’t no fucking way I’m gonna lose. I can’t lose my individual battles on the field, there is no fucking way my teammates going to look at me and say, “He didn’t do his job.” We build up a mindset over here first and then once we get into our training stuff, I was blessed to have the knowledge to know the things to get players faster, more explosive and quicker. We really push it, man. We really work on the techniques of route running for receivers. I mostly train wide receivers since I played receiver. When these receivers leave, “Choppin The Field,” and they are ready to play in the season, all of them tell me, it’s so easy for me to do what I want to do out there. I can move DB’s how I want to move them. And that’s from high school, college to the pros. One of the main things we teach is technique. I give these boys so many tools and so many moves, I always tell them, “Having moves is one thing, but knowing when to use them when you’re going against different coverages and different leverage, that’s a whole nother ball game.” That’s how you dominate the game.
We see a ton of fast guys in these combines and they don’t make great NFL receivers, then on the other hand, we’ll see a guy that’s not a speed burner like a, Michael Thomas with the Saints who just runs great routes and he’s prolific with it. How important is it to have the ability to run great routes and be where you are supposed to be at all times?
Donte Davis: Look here, if you can run routes, you can get open on anybody. It don’t matter how fast the DB’s are. That’s what we preach over here. We gotta have an answer for everything that they give us. If you’re going to place this technique, that’s cool, ya’ll can do whatever ya’ll wanna do. I got plenty of moves in my arsenal to do whatever I want to do to get open. Yeah, we mash the gas, baby. It’s high energy, it’s intense and I put pressure on these boys all the time. They feel like it’s a game when we’re training. They feel like it’s a goddamn game when we’re training. It’s an all pressure situation.
What are some of the things you look for prior to training a player?
Donte Davis: Low confidence. To me, you’ll never be able to be the best player you can be, if your confidence is low. And I’m not saying you gotta be out here bragging and saying what you can do, but it’s a different feeling. If you got confidence in yourself, boys can feel that when you step on the field. I don’t gotta say I’m going to do this, that and the third. But I know you know what time it is. I tell all of my athletes, “One thing we’re going to fucking have, is confidence in ourselves because we gotta be that playmaker on the team. I know there is 56-dudes on this NFL team, but if they say, who wants to be the playmaker, I want to be the motherfucking playmaker. I want to be that guy.” Nothing against anyone else because we’re all friends, but I want to have that confidence that I’m going to be the playmaker.
Are your sessions merged together? In other words, do you have high school athletes training with pro athletes or potential pro athletes who are headed to the combine?
Donte Davis: To be real with you, I train some of the top high school boys in the country and if you see them training with some of the pros, you couldn’t even tell the difference. I do separate the skill levels, but if I got some boys that can roll that’s in high school, I’m gonna let them rock out with the pros. And you know what’s crazy, some of the pros will hit me up and ask, “Can I work out with the high school dudes because they go hard?” A high school dude don’t know what he don’t know. He don’t know what it takes to get to the league, so he’s going to do whatever. He’s going to go crazy.
And just for the record, this is all positions you train you just specialize with receivers because it was your position.
Donte Davis: We train all positions. DB is our next main position. We got a lot of college DB’s coming in who will be getting ready for the combine this offseason. We got running backs that’s coming out of college going to the combine to train. So, we train all positions to get them right. And with me knowing so much receiver, I can tell the DB’s exactly what to do. To be real with you, if I had to do it all over again, I’ll go play DB, bro. I be shutting my boys down. I know it so well. I can already see what you’re trying to do. I know the receiver position like the back of my hand. When I’m playing defense, it ain’t too many you going to get on me. Our DB’s are real sharp. We have competition days once a week; especially in the offseason. In the offseason I’ll let the boys do competition days once a week. We do one on one’s, we do two on two’s and then we do red zone work. It get so thick out there, it’s like a game. Like I said.
I always gotta shout out my man, Luke Cervino. I’m so proud of that dude for the work he’s putting in and connecting me to guys like you. How did you meet, Luke and what is the relationship like with the Cervino Family?
Donte Davis: I met, Luke at Syracuse. His brother [Chaz] played for us. I would hang out with him when he came up and after the season in New Jersey. Luke always loved my game and how I played. He loves my clothing line as well www.goodboycommittee.com. We are in 9 stores already. But I love them folks, man. I call, Luke’s dad, “Uncle Smitty.” I would stay with them when I went to Jersey. Sleep in bunk beds and all, man. Luke’s brother, Chaz introduced me to my agent coming out. I got nothing, but love for them and Luke is great people.
That’s what’s up. I appreciate your time; I will definitely be keeping an eye out for your athletes and I look forward to seeing them play on Sunday’s. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Donte Davis: I would definitely like to team up with you and do something when my college dudes come in for their combine training in December. These guys are about to be first rounders. Other than that, check us out, www.choppinthefield.com.Tweet