Mike Davis is at a crossroads. The Texas Longhorns junior WR has shown spectacular moments of promise while at other times disappearing into oblivion.
When Davis declared for the NFL draft I remember thinking there have been smarter decisions made around 3 a.m. after a night out on 6th street in Austin.
Luckily, for Davis’ sake and his draft stock, he got cold feet and changed his mind deciding to stay for his senior season.
Don’t get me wrong, Davis has ridiculous talent and can be as good as anyone in the country at his position. I’m not sure if he lacks motivation at times or if he just doesn’t put forth the effort but there have been times where I’m left scratching my head wondering where No. 1 was all game. Davis, much like an ex-girlfriend, is a perfect example of “when it’s good it’s good, but, when it’s bad it’s bad!”
Based on an evaluation process many college football players use to see where they’ll land in the draft if they declared, Davis is currently a third round selection.
But Davis isn’t third round talent he is first round talent.
This past season was a lot about finding his identity on this team and at his position. With Texas finally committing to one QB (for the most part) Davis was able to establish a chemistry and connection with David Ash. After two mediocre seasons, Texas fans finally got to see what he can do week in and week out.
For the most part.
Sure, Davis could have gone pro and been decent but he’s not ready yet. He only had four games with over 100 yards receiving last season. That isn’t necessarily bad, but, five games with less than 50 yards receiving is.
It’s terrible, and for someone with his skill set, it’s unacceptable.
He wasn’t held to such low numbers because teams targeted him as a prime-time play maker that needed to be locked down and that is the worst part about his lack of production in those games.
And don’t make excuses for him or rationalize the games where he had zero impact. There is no reason he should have only had 20 yards receiving against West Virginia and just 18 yards against Kansas State.
I’m not setting my expectations too high. I don’t think Davis is on the same level as USC’s Marqise Lee but I certainly think he is better than a 30-yard outing against Wyoming. I expect a lot from this offense next season; they should be good enough to make opponents respect the run and the pass so much that it becomes overwhelming resulting in a season Texas fans are used to.
I know Davis has the Biletnikoff Award on his radar for next season and that is perfectly fine but I would be happy with 80 to 100 plus yards a game next season. I don’t see his numbers rivaling Lee’s but then again you never know. With the Trojans transitioning into a new QB and Texas entering into a season where there are high expectations for Ash maybe Davis could out-perform Lee and find himself in Orlando at the annual end-of-the-season award ceremony as a Biletnikoff finalist.
Regardless, I’m just happy to see a guy realize he isn’t ready and withdraw his eligibility from the draft for both himself and his teammates benefit. There really is so much promise and potential for Davis if he could just tap into it. He is good, at times he has been great while other times dismal. Next season he has given himself one last chance to be what Mack Brown and company saw coming out of high school and I think he is going to make the most of it.
For his sake, he had better go above and beyond expectations. Another year couldn’t hurt him, unless he is literally hurt, but he has to show drastic strides of improvement and player development.
Player development that shouldn’t have taken three seasons to reach its peak.