Saturday, November 29, 2008

Player Anatomy: RB James Davis, Clemson


Character/Leadership Ability:
Davis returned to Clemson for his senior season after nearly entering the 2008 NFL draft. He’s a team player, who does not mind sharing carries, which has hurt his individual numbers. He has also stayed out of trouble off the field.

Competitive Nature/Work Ethic: He works hard on his game and gets along great with his teammates. Typically, Davis is always the first one to congratulate another player on a big play. He will be a four-year letter winner when his career at Clemson is over.

Football Intelligence: The senior understands the game very well and uses his knowledge of the game to better himself on the field and get the most out of his abilities. He understands pass blocking very well, something many college backs cannot say.

Size: Davis has a compact and powerful build. He has worked on bulking up both his upper and lower body.

Athletic Ability: The Atlanta native is a good natural athlete, who is smooth in his movements with the ball in his hands. Davis shows good burst while not having great top-end speed.

Toughness/Durability: He hasn’t had major injury concerns in his college career. He is a very durable and tough runner, although he is rarely asked to carry the load because of sharing carries.

Ball Protection: Davis secures the ball well upon contact, with powerful arms that allow him to prevent the ball from being stripped.

Elusiveness/Feet: Cuts very well and has good agility. Davis will never be confused for a scat back, but he does have the ability to make a defender miss thanks to his stellar body control.

Pass Catching: A glaring weakness in Davis' game is his ability as a pass catcher or lack thereof. He does not run routes well and looks stiff at times when doing so. He uses his body to catch the ball too often.

Pass Blocking: A very good and intelligent pass blocker, Davis does an excellent job reading the blitz and always knows his assignment.

Power: Has very good power in one-on-one situations. He can bowl over a single defender with ease, but has shown some trouble with pushing the pile this season. The senior could be very effective in short yardage situations if he better utilizes his powerful leg drive.

Speed: Davis does not possess top-end, straight-line speed, which limits his ability to hit the home run ball. He shows excellent quickness in his first few steps and has a great burst at the line.

Vision: Davis' vision is his best asset. He recognizes holes quickly and hits them fast. At times this season he has been hesitant at the line of scrimmage when there is no obvious hole. He should use his power and jam into the pile more often rather than waiting for a hole to open.

Davis enters his final home game as a Tiger looking for his first 100-yard game in two months. The senior’s 1,000-yard season streak will stop at two, but he still leads Clemson with 634 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The Tigers play host to in-state rival South Carolina Saturday at 12:00 on ESPN2.

Photo Credit: Collegiate Images