User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Auto Racing
Betting Tools

Arkansas RB Davis out to prove health, talent

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Knile Davis looked down at the turf inside the Arkansas indoor practice facility, preparing for a series of pre-workout stretches and agility exercises.

No coaches huddled over the former Razorbacks running back. No trainers monitored his every move.

The decision to follow the rigorous routine was all his, one he followed down to the smallest detailed movement as he prepared for a series of receiving drills with his former teammates, including quarterback Tyler Wilson.

Perhaps more than any of the workout participants, Davis is a wild card entering Friday's on-campus pro day and next month's NFL draft. The problem for the Texas native, though, is there's no way he can answer the one question everyone has.

Can he stay healthy?

``You can't prove that you're not going to get hurt,'' Davis said. ``That's why I don't understand the injury-prone tag. You can't say someone's injury prone, because anyone on the field can get hurt. You can have a hot No. 1 pick, and he can get hurt, too. And then someone who's been hurt can never get hurt again. There's no way to prove it.''

There's no way to fully shake the label, as the former first-team All-Southeastern Conference running back knows all too well - given an injury history that dates to high school. All Davis can do is prepare for auditions such as Friday, when he's expected to run routes and catch passes from Wilson, and hope for a chance.

Davis' chances at being selected in the draft were already given a boost following his performance at last month's combine. He ran the second-best 40-yard dash among running backs with a time of 4.37 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times - second only to Wake Forest fullback Tommy Bohanon.

The effort came after Davis spent eight weeks training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in his home state. Lance Walker, the company's director of performance, said Davis also trained with former Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg, safety Ross Rasner and running back Dennis Johnson, and that he wowed NFL teams during the combine.

``I sat in the stands after his workout, and I had four different representatives from teams tell me, `He's completely re-racked himself in terms of his status with us now,''' Walker said. ``He was a complete enigma coming in, and now with his performance at the combine, he's completely turned the tables. Everybody's taking more looks at him now.''

Performing in workouts has never been a problem for Davis, who approached the 600-pound mark while squatting last summer at Arkansas. Neither was his on-the-field production during the 2010 season as a sophomore, when he burst onto the national scene by leading SEC running backs with 1,322 yards rushing - including averaging 147 yards per game over his final seven games.

What has been a problem for the 5-foot-10, 227-pound Davis is staying on the field. His laundry list of ailments, dating to his junior year of high school, includes three broken ankles and two broken collarbones.

The most recent occurrence was his most last broken ankle, his left one, during a scrimmage before the 2011 season. The injury cost him all of the 2011 season, as well as forcing him to miss spring practice leading into the 2012 season, and led to a series of medical evaluations at the combine - resulting in what Davis said were ``no red flags.''

While Davis worked his way back, the Arkansas football program fell into turmoil last year following revelations of former coach Bobby Petrino's affair with a former volleyball player. John L. Smith took over on an interim basis last April, but the disruption in leadership was too much to overcome for the Razorbacks, who quickly fell from the preseason top 10 and finished a dismal 4-8 - resulting in Bret Bielema's hiring away from Wisconsin in December.

``The plays are the same, but the organization isn't there,'' Davis said. ``When you had Bobby, there was comfort there. Kind of like now that coach (Bielema) is here now. There's order. There was no order when Bobby left.''

The lack of order also led to questions about how Davis' return would be handled leading into last season. Petrino had said before his firing that Davis would be expected to go through contact like any other player when he returned from injury, but Smith and the rest of the assistant coaches decided to hold the running back out of contact for much of last August.

Davis finally carried the ball during the final preseason scrimmage. While did come way injury free, he fumbled on the first play - setting the stage for a disappointing season overall in which he rushed for only 337 yards on 112 carries.

Looking back, Davis - who was quick to point out that he hadn't played since the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State to end the 2010 season - said preseason contact would have helped him return to form more quickly in 2012.

That said, he isn't about to blame anyone or make excuses for his lack of production last season. He's only focused on the here and now and proving to everyone - including himself - that he's still among the best at his position.

``I'm a realist; people have short memories,'' Davis said. ``The media, coaches, it's `What have you done for me lately?' So, yeah, I definitely have something to prove. I have something to prove to myself that I can play at the next level.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Nelson: Auburn at Kansas State
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 4
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 3
Rose: Top 25 Betting Recap - Week 3
Dobish: College Betting Recap - Week 3
Olsen leaves Miami after DUI arrest
Hogs enjoy resurgence under Bielema
Miss. State tries to end skid vs. LSU
Stanford using bye week to rest, recruit
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
6-1 Sat., 13-2 Run, +961 TY
+923 Picks This Year
3-1 Saturday, 9-3 L3 Saturdays
7-1 Guarantees, 14-7 Picks TY
4-1 Record Saturday
5-1 Last 6 College FB Picks
7-1 Over/Unders This Year
3-1 Last 4 CFB Totals
5-2 Week 3, 6-1 Guarantees TY
7-3 Record Last 10 Picks
5-0 Fridays This Year
7-3 L2 Saturdays, 10-3 L13 Picks
3-1 Saturday, 4-0 Guarantees TY
4-1 Fridays This Year
6-3 Week 3 Record
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 5-2 Totals TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Auburn Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 961
Michael Black + 923
Stephen Nover + 600
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 595
Greg Smith + 390
Kevin Rogers + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Chip Chirimbes 75 %
Stephen Nover 67 %
The SportsBoss 67 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 590
Pat Hawkins + 490
Bruce Marshall + 485
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Stephen Nover + 480
Paul Bovi + 290
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 366
Marc Lawrence + 290
The SportsBoss + 280
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest