James Davis has been a head liner since he stepped on campus at Clemson. In February, he became the most highly rated running back to sign with Tommy Bowden. Speculation was rampant in the off-season, as to how much playing time Davis would see in his first season. Davis came into the fall and immediately started meeting expectations. He did endure a minor setback.
Davis was not very patient with the coaching staff in the beginning. After he returned from a short stint at home, Davis came back with more enthusiasm on the field. It did not go unnoticed by his teammates.
“James apologized for leaving, when he came back. He told us it would not happen again. After that, I noticed he started practicing a lot harder,” said junior tackle Marion Dukes.
The running back position was not without talent, when Davis arrived. Reggie Merriweather closed the season playing as well as any running back in the ACC. Merriweather had established himself, as the feature back head coach Tommy Bowden was looking for. Normally, the running backs sing the praises of their offensive line, but on Monday, the offensive line was able to praise their running backs.
“James and Reggie are really showing out right now. I have all the confidence in the world, when Kyle or Duane is back there. James and Reggie have just been unbelievable. Competition is good. When you have competition, people go out there looking for that extra yard. Everybody is hungry and wants to be on the field,” said offensive guard Nathan Bennett.
Davis and Merriweather have shined through the first two games. Davis has started the first two games, and he has cemented his role on the two-deep.
“James and Reggie have made some separation. They have the hot hand right now, and we are going to continue to ride them. Duane (Coleman) and Kyle (Browning) are ready to go, if they are needed,” said Coach Bowden.
On Saturday, Davis showed good versatility out of the backfield. Under Coach Bowden, it has been a big key for running backs to catch the football. Davis showed good hands catching three passes against Maryland. It was the first game for the freshman, but if he had any nerves, they were not showing.
“I was sitting in the hotel Friday night, and I am junior, but I was starting to get nervous thinking about the game. He was all smiles and loose. I was just like, man,” said Dukes.
Davis has never lacked for confidence. He wants opposing defenses to recognize him, as an impact player. He is not your typical freshman, but if he was Clemson may not be 2-0.