Mike Davis, running back for the South Carolina Gamecocks, had a breakout season in 2013. Davis carried the ball 203 times for 1,183 yards last season, to go with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Davis got off to a fast start last season, rushing for at least 100 yards in seven of South Carolina’s first nine games. However, the workload had a big impact on Davis’ health, and he slowed considerably late in the year.
The 5-9, 216-pound Davis suffered injuries to his shoulder, ribs and ankle through those first nine contests, and he did not have much left in the tank for the season’s stretch drive. However, Davis has healed in the offseason, and was kept out of many contact drills during the spring, just to make sure that he was healed for the 2014 season.
With the departure of quarterback Connor Shaw, it will be Davis that will need to carry the offensive load for head coach Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks this season. New quarterback Dylan Thompson will be able to make plays, but Davis will be the player that drives the offense in 2014.
If Davis can build upon his play from last season, there is no reason he can’t become an All-American kind of back. And if things really break the right way, Davis could find himself in the midst of the Heisman Trophy conversation this fall.
Davis needs to make sure he conditions well in the offseason, and that his body is ready for the rigors of the Southeastern Conference. If he takes care of those things, expect a big season from Davis in 2014.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.