While he did run through some drills at the end of last year after suffering a season-ending injury in August, Arkansas tailback Knile Davis really didn't go through a full practice.
That came Wednesday as the Razorbacks opened spring practice with Davis (6-2, 226) – who was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2010 – healthy and all amped up.
"I felt real good," Davis said. "I felt fast, was excited to be out there and I have been thinking about this all last week. It felt funny at first, but I warmed up to it and it felt like old times."
The return of Davis, who rushed for an SEC-leading 1,322 yards as a sophomore, also had teammate Cobi Hamilton excited.
"He is going to be a leader on the field," Hamilton said. "Knile is Knile. He is just a great football player and a great leader and a great friend. He has helped me since I have been on campus and he is going to help us win a national championship one day."
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino described Davis as the team's strongest and fastest player.
"I have just been in the weight room trying to lift as hard as I can, run as fast as I can," Davis said. "My test numbers were pretty good.
"I ran a 4.33 (40-yard dash), my bench (press) was 420 and my squat was 570," Davis added. "I was trying to get more, but they cut me off."
Davis was back in line with the other Arkansas tailbacks – seniors Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo – and redshirt freshman Kody Walker.
"I took a few less reps than the other guys just cause Coach wanted me to get the feel back to it," Davis said. "But it is probably going to increase as the spring goes along."
Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino has not decided how much contact he is going to let Davis have during the 15 spring practices.
"I really haven't talked to Coach P about that," Davis said. "If he says light contact, that's cool. If he says full contact, I am ready to get it on."
What about no contact?
"If that's what he wants, that's what it will be," Davis said.
Davis said his goals were simple for the spring.
"I just want to get in the groove, basically the O-line to mesh and in a groove and get a handle on what they are doing, improve from last year," Davis said. "That's pretty much it."
Davis' offensive line in 2010 featured center Travis Swanson and guard Alvin Bailey.
His 2012 one will feature returning starter Jason Peacock and two new starters.
"It (the offensive line) looked good," Davis said. "There are some monsters up there."
He pronounced the first team practice a success.
"It was good for our first practice," Davis said. "We have a few things to improve on, but the first practice was real good."
Return Of The Knile
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