In a move that doesn’t shock many, Mike Davis has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL draft.
Davis had a breakout sophomore campaign, in which he ran for 1183 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry in 2013. He rushed for over 100 yards in seven of his first nine games and accounted for 10 touchdowns.
In his final four games of his sophomore season, he only had 125 yards and one touchdown. His totals account for him missing two regular-season games that year.
He entered his junior year, much like the Gamecocks, surrounded by hype. There was also preseason talk of Davis being a dark-horse Heisman candidate. In his first game of the season against Texas A&M, Davis was held to just 15 yards on six carries. He was dealing with an injury and his status for the next week was uncertain.
He came back with a vengeance, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns against East Carolina. He was not back to his normal self against Georgia, but did account for 66 big yards in what turned out to be the Gamecocks’ biggest and most shocking victory of the season. Later on in the season he had 104 yards and a touchdown against Missouri, and a career-high 183 yards and three touchdowns against Kentucky. The blowout win against Furman was potentially Davis’s final 100 yard rushing game of his South Carolina career.
In most NFL mock drafts, Davis is not projected to be a first-round pick. Many mock drafts have him going in the late second round or third round of the 2015 draft.
Davis is a big, physical runner with speed to match. His quickness shocked many people in 2013, when he busted several 70+ yard runs for touchdowns. Although Davis did not meet all of the expectations he had on him in 2014, he was a great running back for South Carolina and will be missed next year by the Gamecock faithful.
Davis has a chance to leave on a high note, in his final game at South Carolina and the Independence Bowl against Miami.
*Section Photo credit to Streeter Lecka, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jim Dedmon, USA Today Sports