There are players that you watch and you just can’t help but root for. For me, Arkansas running back Knile Davis is that guy. When he arrived at Arkansas, he flashed so much talent and potential that he was drawing comparisons to college football’s very best practically from day one. As a sophomore, he exploded on the scene with a huge season, and you had to assume the best was yet to come. But the last 2 years have not been kind to Davis, and now he finds himself as a junior trying to salvage his NFL career by declaring for the 2013 NFL draft.
When Davis was hurt at the start of the 2011 season, he was on Heisman watch-lists. Many pundits wondered if he would just go ahead and declare for the 2012 NFL draft rather than return to school and risk further injury. But he chose his loyalty to Arkansas and returned. This was a horrible error in hindsight, and as we are seeing now has put his draft status in real jeopardy.
First there was the whole Bobby Petrino fiasco that took away his head coach and threw the entire team and program into turmoil. You add in that he was still recovering from his leg injury and really struggling to get healthy, and 2012 a perfect storm of bad luck for Davis, culminating in a terrible season for himself and his team.
My Take-Davis is really in a no-win situation. On one hand, you return to school and get to play for new head coach Bret Bielema who has shown he can coach up NFL-caliber backs. But you do that and take the risk of further injury, and there’s nothing to say year 1 of Bielema will be any better than this one. So I get it that he’s got to take his shot. I just hope he’s able to show himself as healthy, and convince teams to put on that sophomore tape and see what he is capable of. As far as where he’ll be drafted, I won’t be shocked if he slips to the 5th or 6th round. But, when it comes to running backs, you just have to find your way to a roster and anything is possible.
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