Davis shines for Troy

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When senior wide receiver Sidney Davis hauled in a 22-yard touchdown completion late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against ULM, it seemed to be icing on the cake. But as the game went on, it turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.

Davis led the Trojans with six catches for 78 yards with the one touchdown against the Warhawks.

“I tell these guys all the time, at receiver so many things have to go right to get opportunities,” said head coach Neal Brown. “I thought he made some real critical plays for us the other night. We will continue to get him involved in that 6 to 10 touch range.”

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Davis hasn’t always had those opportunities. Last year Davis played in all 13 games, but caught just eight passes for a total of 77 yards. He has already eclipsed those totals through the first four games this season with 13 catches for a total of 151 yards.

“Last year, I was just playing my role on offense, just sharing reps with Tevaris,” Davis said. I was doing what I needed to do for my team and not worrying about stats.”

Davis was stuck behind Tevaris McCormick on the depth chart last season, which limited his snaps. Coach Brown credits that, as well as Davis not being in tip top shape, to his limited snap count last season.

“He was a little heavier than he wanted to be,” Brown said. “He just didn’t get as many opportunities. We had some plays called for him. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Tevaris McCormick was playing in front of him and playing at a high level.”

Davis took the offseason to get into shape and it has paid dividends through the first four games of the season.

“This year he is in better shape,” Brown said. “His perimeter blocking has improved. He is playing a lot more snaps because he is in a lot better shape.”

Davis has also benefited from the suspension of fellow receiver Traveon Samuels, who hasn’t appeared in a game since the opener against Boise State.

“He is playing the majority of those snaps now since his suspension and he has taken advantage of it,” Brown said.

Davis also welcomed a baby girl in the offseason and many of his coaches and teammates credit that to his higher maturity level.

He was a great kid when we recruited him here and I think that part just matured him a little bit more, made him set his goals as far as what he wanted to do this year,” said offensive coordinator Matt Moore. “It’s been business to him. It hasn’t been as much playing around. Every day has been business and you can tell the way he’s played – it’s made him better.”

While some people may find it hard to juggle fatherhood and football, Davis uses it as motivation.

It’s not too hard, to be honest,” Davis said. “I know people always say it’s hard raising a child. I look at it as something that makes me go harder each day. I know somebody is looking up to me now.”

Davis’ emergence this season has added depth to the Trojan receiver core. In last week’s win over the Warhawks, eight different players caught a pass, six of which were receivers.

“We’re really balanced. Our offense as a whole is balanced,” Davis said. “They like to get everybody involved each game. Some nights, Deondre might have more than me. I might have more than Damian, or Damian might have more than us. It’s a balance thing. We’re not worried about that. We’re worried about winning the game.”

The balanced attack has also benefited Trojan quarterback Kaleb Barker.

“When you have three guys, it’s hard to pinpoint one guy for defenses going in,” Barker said. “If there’s like 10 receptions for one guy, obviously they’d spend more attention on him. When you’re spreading it out like that, it’s more of a threat. I think there’s going to be more opportunities for more guys going into the season if we keep doing that because we are talented everywhere.”