South Carolina junior running back Mike Davis has received an overflow of preseason attention, from All-SEC teams and award watch lists to potential Heisman Trophy hype.
Following a breakout sophomore season, it's well deserved. Davis burst onto the scene last fall, rushing for 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns. Most consider him the second-best back in the SEC entering this season, behind Georgia All-American Todd Gurley.
Davis has only played two of his allotted four seasons at South Carolina. In years past, maybe a player of Davis' caliber would just be getting started. For those thinking the junior is only halfway through his collegiate career, Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier had other thoughts.
"Mike Davis, if he has a big year, he's going to go pro," Spurrier said Thursday. "And we're going to tell him to go pro, because he should. The lifespan of a running back is only a certain amount of years. If a young man after three years can go, we're going to shake his hand and let him go. That's why you keep recruiting running backs."
Behind Davis and a big and experienced offensive line, Spurrier vowed South Carolina will run the football more than most teams this fall. It's a game plan the Gamecocks' talented tailback will surely embrace.
Spurrier said Davis strained a hamstring this offseason and missed a few workouts, but he'll be healthy for South Carolina's opener. If he can stay healthy, it could be his final opener in a Gamecocks uniform.