Auburn star impressing with leadership, commitment to diet – AL.com

As committed as Marlon Davidson has been to his diet this offseason, Auburn’s senior defensive lineman hasn’t been able to completely give up one of his favorite snacks.

Candy.

That came up last week at SEC Media Days. As the preseason second-team All-SEC selection talked about the challenges of cutting back on certain foods, he smiled and pointed at the pocket of his suit jacket.

“I’ve got a 3 Musketeers in my pocket right now,” he said.

Davidson isn’t eating those as much as he used to, though. Burger King and Zaxby’s have been cut down on as well.

While there may be an occasional 3 Musketeers bar, people around the Auburn program have been impressed with Davidson throughout the offseason — both for his leadership during the team’s summer workouts as well as for his commitment to getting into better shape.

“I used to hate greens, like I didn’t like greens at all,” Davidson said. “I couldn’t eat salads. I couldn’t eat those types of things. … But now I’m starting to do that more often and it’s starting to fuel my body more. It’s like bringing all my joints together, to be honest. My body feels way more better now than it did when I wasn’t eating it. I feel like I’m at my all-time high right now. I feel like if I played today, I don’t know, I’d probably have a historic game. That’s how good I feel about eating greens and taking my nutrition serious and just being great.”

While Davidson is still the same weight as last season — 278 pounds — he was already down from 19 percent body fat last year to 16 percent body fat when Auburn began this year’s summer workouts.

The belief at Auburn is he’s trimmed up even more since then. Still, Davidson has gotten stronger, too.

His power clean is up to 355 pounds from 330 pounds last year. In addition, he squatted 500 pounds this summer after maxing out at 485 pounds last year.

“I believe Marlon is one of the best overall football players that we’ve had come through Auburn in my time there,” Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said of Davidson, who posted 46 tackles and 3.5 sacks last year. “He’ll be a four-year starter, which is very, very rare up front at Auburn. He’s a vocal leader — not just defense, offense — but really one of our team leaders.”

Like his roommate and fellow defensive lineman Derrick Brown, Davidson could have turned pro after last season. Some people told the former five-star recruit at the time that they could see him maybe going as early as the second or third round of this year’s NFL draft. Instead, like Brown, Davidson chose to return to Auburn.

And like Brown — who has been on a salmon kick this offseason — Davidson continues to improve his body as a result of eating better and trying to cut back as much as possible on Burger King, Zaxby’s and those 3 Musketeers bars.

“Man, you can pull up a picture from last year and look at a picture now of me with my shirt off,” Davidson said, “You’d be like, ‘Man that’s crazy,’ how much my body has changed by me just doing the little things.”

Matt Zenitz is an Alabama and Auburn reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mzenitz.

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