cheap soccer jerseys.com Big season by Mike Davis could mean title for USC
COLUMBIA Growing up, Mike Davis had the dreams that race through the heads of many young boys.
He wanted to play football in college and then in the NFL.
After contemplating leaving South Carolina after his freshman season because of a lack of playing time, Davis remained in Columbia after prompting from his brother, former Clemson standout and NFL player James Davis.
After a sophomore season in which he rushed for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns, Davis is receiving the accolades about which he dreamed.
While he has been listed on several preseason All American teams and is among those considered an early Heisman Trophy candidate, something else drove that message home.
He saw Gamecocks jerseys with his number hanging in a campus area bookstore.
“When I came here,
I didn’t think I would see my jersey in any stores,” Davis said with a smile. “That was one of my goals growing up, being able to see my jersey in stores. It was a great feeling, knowing my mom could get one without having it specially made.”
Despite that pride, Davis enters the 2014 season with much to prove.
After getting off to a start in 2013 that placed his name in the same breath with the best running backs in the country, Davis hit a wall. Because of a series of injuries, Davis limped to the finish line.
He is eager to prove he can be a finisher this season.
“I watched Marcus out there carry the ball and taking all those hits,
” Davis said, referring to former Gamecocks All American Marcus Lattimore. “But it was different when I was actually out there.”
Davis downplayed injuries a year ago, answering every journalists’ questions with “I’m fine.”
Acknowledging the beating running backs take, USC coach Steve Spurrier has said he hopes his star has the type of performance that allows him to enter the NFL after this season.
“Mike Davis, if he has a big year, he’s going to go pro,” Spurrier said. “We’re going to tell him to go pro. The lifespan of a running back is only a certain number of years. If one of our players is ready to go after three years,
we’re going to shake his hand and let him go.”
Davis smiled when informed of Spurrier’s comments.
“I’m focusing more on this year because I have to have a great year for that to happen,” he said. “But if I have a chance to leave, I will go because I want to take care of my family.”
In order to survive better the rigors of being a primary ball handler in the Southeastern Conference, Davis has put on 10 pounds of muscle on his upper body. He entered fall practice weighing 223 pounds.
Yet USC’s plan is to give Davis more relief this season. With a healthy Brandon Wilds, Shon Carson and redshirt freshman David Williams in the backfield, running backs coach Everette Sands hopes to limit Davis’ carries in an attempt to keep him fresh.
Davis isn’t 100 percent agreeable to that plan but says he is on board to do whatever is best for the team.
Despite Davis’ injury problems, he had the fourth best season rushing total of a running back in South Carolina history. He trails only George Rogers,
who had seasons of 1,894 yards and 1,681 yards, and Lattimore, who had 1,197 yards as a freshman.
“I just want to show my teammates that I’m willing to lay my body on the line to help us win,” he said.