Davis Leads Razorback Attack In 2011

Arkansas is loaded at the skill positions heading into the new season.

Hoover, Ala.—When you think of Bobby Petrino and offense the quarterback is the position that automatically comes to mind. With a history of having productive signal callers in his offense, most recently Arkansas standout Ryan Mallett, Petrino is looking to have that once again in 2011. This time the favorite to win the job is junior Tyler Wilson and fortunately for him he won't have to do it alone.

Returning is All-SEC running back Knile Davis and receivers such as Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright. With so much talent surrounding the quarterback Petrino said it's his job just to find out who the best player is and then understand what they do the best.

"Something I really believe in is that it's our job to find out what they do well and ask them to do that," Petrino said. "We'll take our offense, and we install the whole thing, we try to do it in the spring twice and in August do it again. Then it's our coaches job and my job to find out what our quarterback does the best and take the nice fancy playbook we have and set it aside and develop the offense around our quarterback and give him a chance to be successful."

Wilson played in six games last fall including a 323-yard, four-touchdown performance against Auburn in relief of an injured Mallett. Showing that potential and knowing the offensive players surrounding him is something that has given the Razorbacks confidence heading into the 2011 season said Davis.

"With myself and Dennis Johnson being back and Ronnie Wingo and our four starting receivers I think Tyler is glad we're there," Davis said. "We can kind of take the load off him and help him out a little bit."

The biggest of that group for the development of Wilson is Davis. The SEC's leading returning rusher with 1,322 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, the 226-pounder is physically gifted and has the strength and speed to make plays all over the field. Despite those numbers he was voted a second-team preseason selection by the coaches, something he said doesn't bother him.

"There is always a chip on my shoulder," Davis said. "I do that because I'm a competitor. I'm always trying to do better.

"It's not up to me," he added. "I'm just going out there to try to do even better and work hard. Hopefully they'll put me first at the end of the year."

With so much talent to work with it's no surprise that Arkansas is considered one of the teams to beat in the SEC West this year. Petrino said how far and how quickly they progress will depend on the play of the quarterback, but knowing that Davis is there to help out should make things a smooth transition in 2011.

"Our quarterbacks understand that we're very talented," Petrino said. "I have to read the defense and understand what's going on and distribute the ball to my players and let them make plays. I think that's something we'll rely on. If we're really helpless, if we can turn around and hand it to Knile 20-25 times a game and get to the proper third downs that really helps."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories