Jason Caldwell

Auburn's Four Freshman Wide Receivers Making Good Early Impression On Senior

Auburn senior Marcus Davis gives his take on Auburn's new wide receivers and the outlook for the 2016 football Tigers.

Marcus Davis was second on the 2015 Auburn team in total pass receptions with 30 while averaging 11.5 yards per punt return.

Hoover, Ala.--Senior Marcus Davis, the most experienced receiver on the 2016 Auburn football team, says help has arrived at the wide receivers group.

The Tigers signed Nate Craig from Tampa Catholic High School plus two other receivers from the state of Florida who joined the team this summer--Marquis McClain from Crestville High and Elijah Stove from Niceville High.

The team’s other 2016 wide receiver signee, Kyle Davis from Archer High in Lawrenceville, Ga., enrolled at Auburn in January.

“I think these are really the most talented guys at one time, at one position, to come in at the same time,” Davis said while attending SEC Football Media Days.

“I think those guys are ready to compete in and compete,” he said. “Quite frankly, we are going to need their depth.”

Commenting on Craig, Davis said, “He is just a natural. He is very, very mature. I feel like he is a guy who can come in and help us because the way he carries himself.

“He is mature. That is what helped me get on the field as a freshman and I already see that in him. Plus, he is really talented. I am excited to see what he brings to the table.”

Davis added, “He has a knack for the position--a great route runner, great hands.”

Nate Craig caught 16 touchdown passes as a senior in high school.

Commenting on McClain, the senior said, “Marquis, I think he has been the biggest surprise--just me working with him, like throwing with the quarterbacks and everything. He is a bigger guy. I didn’t expect him to move like that, running and getting in and out of cuts. I think he is a guy to definitely keep an eye on.

“Eli Stove, I think he is really, really similar to me--very versatile. He is going to be a guy who is on speed sweeps and reverses, and things of that nature because of his skill sets.”

Davis noted that because Kyle Davis has been a part of the team since January that he doesn’t seem like a freshman. “He is another mature guy. His radius on catching the ball is very good. He can catch it anywhere. He is an aggressive guy. I?believe he is going to be able to help us.”

Davis was limited in the spring after having shoulder surgery following his senior season in high school, but is expected to be ready for action this fall.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Kyle Davis is shown during an Auburn spring practice.

Coach Gus Malzahn noted that Davis is doing a good job as leader of the wide receiver group and the entire offense as a whole. Davis said that he and fellow senior wide receiver Tony Stevens are trying to help the newcomers get ready to contribute.

“The older players in general set a foundation for the new guys coming in and I think the new guys are following along,” Davis said. “That is why I think we will be off to a good start and have a great season because of the leadership of guys like myself, Carl (Lawson), Montravius (Adams) and other leaders like Rudy Ford. We have guys who know what to expect.”

Davis added, “No one wants to go 7-6 again and that is the biggest thing coming into this year....I see a lot of guys who are hungry, who are buying in to what the seniors have to offer.”

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