Alex Davis

"I think the biggest difference this year from last year is everybody kinda knows what is expected," Alex Davis said. 

LINCOLN — Alex Davis stepped off the bus around 4 a.m., and through the dark, he saw the water.

“I didn’t know Lincoln had a lake that big,” the senior outside linebacker said on “Sports Nightly” Monday night.

Over the next few hours, he and the rest of the Nebraska football team underwent workouts with The Program, a leadership building organization run by former Marine Eric Kapitulik. The tasks handed out by the lake required rafts and crawling through the water, leaders shouting commands and usually soft-spoken players breaking out of their shell.

It’s the second year Nebraska’s brought in The Program under Scott Frost. It costs about $35,000. This year it was really effective, Davis said.

“I think The Program and all that is really important to see your teammates in a hostile environment,” Davis said.

The Program requires the entire group to do things 100% correct. And Davis has seen that attitude bleed into workouts in the weight room and during sprints afterward.

“I think the biggest difference this year from last year is everybody kinda knows what is expected,” Davis said. “This year I can see if someone is going a little slower or not giving it all, the next man is saying, like, ‘Hey, bro, let’s go, push it.’ And you’re not hearing anybody say, ‘Ah, man, I am going.’ Everyone’s like, ‘Alright.’ Next thing, next drill, everybody’s just ready to go.”

Davis has struggled to find the field in the last few seasons. He recorded five tackles as a junior. In 2017, he had 17 tackles and 11⁄2 sacks. Davis transitioned from a 4-3 defensive end recruited by Mike Riley to a 3-4 outside linebacker.

He said on Monday that last season things really started to click. He’s thinking less and having more fun now. And he wants to carry that over into his final season.

“I’m really confident in myself in everything right now,” Davis said.

Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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