KILGORE -- A.J. Davis has spent the last two seasons anchoring the middle of Kilgore's defense. The Bulldogs and coach Mike Wood are ecstatic that he'll be back again to lead the unit in 2012.

Davis (6-0, 220) recorded almost 180 tackles as a junior after bursting onto the scene as a sophomore, when he made more than 120 stops. Davis helped Kilgore to a 9-5 record in 2011, which ended in the Class 4A Division II Region II championship round.

His exploits on the field, which include almost 30 tackles for loss during the past two seasons, have caught the attention of college programs. Davis said during Tuesday morning's practice that he has yet to receiver an offer, but multiple schools have talked to him, including North Texas, Texas Tech, and UTSA.

"I like North Texas and UTSA," said Davis, who added that both are recruiting him as a linebacker.

Davis is anxious to get the 2012 season started. Although Kilgore has a lot of holes to fill on offense, the defense returns most of its starters.

"Everybody's getting good work out here, quality reps," Davis said. "I think we're looking pretty good. I like the way things are going right now."

Wood has high hopes for Davis' senior year.

"With his experience and his leadership, the kids certainly look up to him," Wood said. "He's going to be our quarterback on defense. He's going to control our defense and set our defense. The number of snaps he's taken defensively for us, hopefully as a senior it's going to pay off."

Expectations for Kilgore are high as the Bulldogs make the move to Class 3A. But don't forget that means they'll be in the second version of the "District of Doom," District 16-3A. Kilgore must deal with defending 3A Division I champion Chapel Hill, perennial powers Gilmer and Henderson, plus Bullard, which went 8-5 in 2011.

Davis said the Bulldogs are ignoring any pressure outsiders may be trying to place on them.

"We just go out there and play. Don't underestimate anybody," Davis said. "It's East Texas football, so it's going to all be good."