Fresh off a Saturday scrimmage as one of Tulane's starting safeties, Leonard Davis is fitting right in early on.

Coach Curtis Johnson this spring moved Davis, who will be a sophomore in 2014, to the free safety spot opposite rising senior Sam Scofield, and he shifted rising junior Darion Monroe to nickelback after Jarrod Franklin was injured.

The shift has the Tulane defense excited, and Johnson said after Monday's practice that they look in midseason form.

"Those three safeties are gonna be one of the strong points of our team; there's not much of a drop-off from last year," Johnson said. “(Davis) is one of those guys who can run, loves to hit and plays the game fast. Then Scofield is playing well. And we want to get (Monroe) around the action a little more."

Davis said it will take some adjustment to fill the role, but he's confident his skill level will manifest itself well. He played sparingly in all 13 games this past season, recording five tackles.

"I can bring my intensity, and I’m a big player for such a young guy, so I can match up pretty well with the older guys on the team," said Davis, an East St. John product and half-brother of the nation's top 2014 recruit Leonard Fournette. "I feel real comfortable (with the defense) because I’ve had (Monroe) and (Scofield) help me every step of the way."

Scofield, a 2013 All-Conference USA second-team honoree, and Davis said playing in both a different conference next season (the American Athletic Conference) and a new home stadium (Yulman Stadium) will be a big boost to the defense and the team.

"In a new conference there’ll be bigger people and a lot better competition than last year," Davis said. "And a new stadium will be even better since it’s right here at home; it won’t have to be inconvenient at the Superdome."

Davis added he wouldn't mind facing off against Fournette some time.

"Hopefully we get to play him one day," Davis said. "That’d be a good matchup.”