He has another month before training camp, but Andrew Davison is eager for his second season with the Dallas Cowboys to start.
"I'm healthy this year and looking for better things than my first two years in the league," said Davison, a former Kansas University defensive back who will return to Kansas July 10-11 for the Shut 'Em Down Football Clinic at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe. "I think I've got a chance to compete for a starting job."
Davison will have quite a tale for his campers.
The Detroit native intercepted three passes and broke up 12 more as a KU senior in 2001. NFL teams weren't impressed, however, and the four-year starter was not selected in the seven-round 2002 draft.
"A lot of people didn't think I could make it in the NFL coming out of Kansas," said Davison, who never played on a winning team at KU. "When I wasn't drafted, that really motivated me. I want to be a starter and play for a long time."
Davison signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent and made 11 tackles in six games as a backup defensive back and special-teams player in 2002.
"For a rookie free agent to make a 53-man roster is harder than hell," said Chad Olson, Davison's former agent and an organizer of next week's camp. "He's worked really hard."
Davison had a solid preseason last year with 15 tackles and an interception, but he injured his left ankle in the preseason finale Aug. 28 against Philadelphia and accepted an injury settlement from the Jets.
He wasn't out of work for long. Dallas, which suffered a series of injuries in its secondary, signed Davison on Sept. 17. The second-year pro, however, was limited to special-teams duty in four games before spraining his knee.
"It was a good experience for me," he said. "I'd like to start, but I'll do whatever I can to help the team."
If Davison wants to spend more time in the secondary this season, he'll have to compete with Pete Hunter, Donald Mitchell and Jemeel Powell in the battle to replace departed free agent Mario Edwards at cornerback. And he'll have to impress coach Bill Parcells.
"He's a good coach," Davison said. "He gets the best out of his players. He works hard and expects the same of others. It's fun to be with a winning coach with a winning attitude."
Davison hopes to dispense some wisdom of his own during the two-day camp at MANU.
"I'm not a big-time, famous star or anything like that, but I think it means something to kids," he said. "I sure didn't have any NFL guys coming to Detroit to talk to me when I was a kid. I know it would have meant a lot to me if I would have had an opportunity like that. It's just about giving something back."
Two rookie free agents -- Kansas City receiver John Booth and St. Louis tight end Joel Jacobs -- also will work as camp instructors, along with former San Francisco and New England tight end Russ Francis, a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
Deadline to register for the camp is July 8. For more information, log on to www.prosports1.com or call (816) 322-6146.