Auburn, Ala.--After spending all of spring drills and most of the preseason waiting for his opportunity to show what he can do on the practice field, Kyle Davis has been pushing hard to get ready to contribute in his first college football game.
With game week here, it is still uncertain how ready he will be to help his Auburn team vs. Clemson, but there is hope for the wide receiver.
“I expect him to be healthy,” said offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, who is hoping to get help from Davis and three other highly-regarded true freshman receivers--Nate Craig, Marquis McClain and Eli Stove.
Eli Stove (12) joined the Auburn team this summer and joined Kyle Davis (11) in the wide receivers group.
Davis enrolled early at Auburn in January, but was still rehabbing from a shoulder injury suffered while attending Archer High School in Lawrence, Ga. This preseason he was recovering from a foot injury prior to being cleared to practice last Tuesday.
“You are talking about a guy that didn’t get to do very much in the spring and then missed the first two and a half, three weeks of camp,” Lashlee pointed out.
“We are talking about a guy who is going to have two full weeks of practice under his belt,” the coach added. “We will just have to see where he is at this week as far as the load he can carry mentally.
“He has done a good job mentally and physically, I been pleased with that,” the offensive coordinator pointed out. “We have just got to make sure we are fair to him and what we ask him to do.”
At six-foot-two, 219 pounds the Under Armour All-American is one of the larger targets in a wide receiver group that has only one player (6-4 Tony Stevens) who is taller than Davis.
“Kyle is doing really well," Lashlee said. “He looks healthy. We have had to be real smart. Coach (Kodi) Burns is doing a good job easing him in rep-wise because conditioning, that is probably where he has the biggest gap, the conditioning level of running actual football plays and routes.
“Robbie (trainer Robbie Stewart) has done a good job with his staff of getting him ready,”?Lashlee said. “We are just trying to make sure we don’t push him too fast from a conditioning standpoint, but he has done some really good things.”
Auburn’s most experienced wide receiver, Marcus Davis, said that the freshman is making progress.
“He is a real aggressive player,” the senior said. “He is strong. He is a guy that attacks the ball and that is something we need. In just that little time out there, he showed those flashes of that.
“He is a real good blocker and wants to do those type of things so as the season goes on, he is somebody you are going to see out there.”
The question now is whether or not that will be on Saturday night when Coach Gus Malzahn’s Tigers open the season vs. No. 2 Clemson.