How Carl Davis uses rhythm on, off the football field

Bryce Miller

Growing up in Detroit, Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis became a drummer without the luxury of a drum kit.

Davis, a potential first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, used a frying pan as a snare drum, small tea kettles as high-hat cymbals, pots as "toms" and an even bigger pot for a bass drum.

"I was playing on pots and pans, because that's all I had at the time," Davis said. "My mom used to play the organ at church. I pulled out my pots and pans and tried to play to the beat. She realized I had rhythm and I could play a little bit, so I finally got a drum set.

"Her and I have been playing for a long time, since I was a kid. She always had a drummer, whenever she needed."

Davis sometimes visits West Music in Coralville to pound away at drum sets in a sealed room. He's played gospel for concerts and at his mother's church, but also grooves to rap and rock — including the band Disturbed, a heavy-metal favorite.

The worlds of music and football can be mutually beneficial, Davis said.

"For example, if a quarterback has a cadence (on snap timing)," Davis said, "I'll start picking up that rhythm."