Bahn: Could Holding Knile Davis From Full Contact Be Best For Razorbacks At This Point?

by Chris Bahn  on Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 1:00 pm  

How much contact Knile Davis gets this spring is still up for debate at Arkansas. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

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Coaches have seen a familiar burst at the line of scrimmage from Knile Davis early in spring practice. They’ve noted he cuts as well as he ever has. Teammates say Davis is doing his part to provide leadership and foster competition among teammates.

Davis displayed his usual strength and speed in offseason workouts. His 40-yard dash time put the 6-2, 240-pound back in the class of wide receivers and defensive backs. Davis’ bench press and squat numbers were on par with the team’s defensive tackles.

What the Razorbacks haven’t seen yet is how Davis handles significant contact. Earlier this week the decision was still being made on how available Davis, who fractured his ankle in a scrimmage last fall, would be for spring scrimmages.

Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said earlier this week the coaching staff was still discussing the all-SEC running back’s status. It is Bobby Petrino, of course, who gets the final say on Davis. And Petrino had yet to decide — or at least share that decision — when we last visited with him.

Petrino has three scrimmages scheduled for the spring. Arkansas goes today, April 6 and again April 13. Then there is the Red-White game April 21. And there’s always August.

Naturally, Davis is anxious for the opportunity to arrive. He’s willing to do whatever Petrino asks.

“I don’t know what coach is going to do. I haven’t asked, he hasn’t talked to me and I really don’t care," Davis said. "I’m just ready to go get the first lick. It’s football. I love contact. That’s what football is all about.”

Davis looks ready for contact. He says he’s ready for contact.

Whether Davis can handle it and if he should handle it at this point are two entirely different questions. Physically, Davis seems fine. Mentally, he says he’s ready to get back onto the field and take or deliver a blow.

From this seat — one I should note comes with the comfort of pretending to make decisions without actually making them — patience seems like the way to go with Davis. There really doesn’t seem to be a rush in getting back on the field and taking/delivering hits.

There will be plenty of time for Davis to knock the rust off before 2012.

Davis showed in the final half of 2010 that he’s capable of being a very productive back. He ran for 1,322 yards and much of that came from the midway point of the season though the Sugar Bowl.



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