Jared Thorkelson - Total Blue Sports

Former DeSoto HS WR Akile Davis has assimilated to life at BYU and is ready to make an impact on the gridiron

BYU sophomore wide receiver Akile Davis enters his second year at BYU, and with that his second coaching staff in as many years. The Texan receiver looks to have a breakout season this year in BYU’s revamped pro-style offense under offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. The early returns in spring camp indicate that Davis is well on his way to contributing.

The BYU Cougars have been hard at work implementing Ty Detmer’s pro-style offense over the past two weeks. Progress has been steady as the team enters week 3 of spring camp. Sophomore wide receiver Akile Davis is learning his second offense since joining the Cougar program a year ago, and what he’s seen so far he’s really excited about it.

“I love the offense that we’re now putting together here,” said Davis. “I think the offense that Coach Detmer is constructing is going to be really good. It’s going to put a lot of people in great spots to make plays. I expect our offense to do really well this year.”

While playing his prep ball in for DeSoto High School in Texas, Davis played in an offense similar to what BYU emploed under former offensive coordinator Robert Anae. Now that he’s getting a small taste of what Detmer is bringing back to Provo, Davis thinks the new Cougar offense will suit his skill set much better.

“Coming from DeSoto High School we ran like an Oregon offense, which is fast,” said Davis. “Now that we’re doing more of a pro-style offense that’s a little slower it’s good, because you can collect your thoughts and gather what you’re doing. It’s still a fast pace offense and it will get faster once we know exactly what we’re doing.

“I like it and would say this offense fits me better because of what we do in the offense. It allows me to become more isolated one-on-one with the cornerbacks and I like that a lot. I’m ready to go out and make plays.”

One reason Davis is so high on the new BYU offense is the multiple weapons it will deploy, which should open opportunities for players like Davis.

“It’s more of a pro-set offense where you can get those matchups on the outside,” Davis said. “Then on the inside you have the slots, like Mitchell Juergens, who can do his thing. We’re also doing more tight end stuff in multiple formations that really help out the receivers too.

“The offense is easy and simple to grasp. You get into the huddle, get your play, and you know automatically what you need to do on the field. You don’t have to look back to the sidelines and try and read the play. It cuts down on a lot of thinking and doubting and that allows you to play faster.”

Working with former Cougar wide receiver Ben Cahoon has been a pleasure for Davis of a few fronts. First he loves how technical Cahoon is when it comes to the smallest of details.

“Coach Cahoon is a master technician,” said Davis. “He can teach me the little stuff; the little stuff that makes a difference. For someone like me, I’ve got some length on me. I’ve got to learn other things that can help give me an advantage in my routes or against my matchups. I have to learn the quick-twitch stuff and little tricks of the trade to get off the line of scrimmage in order to give me an advantage to getting open. Coach Cahoon has done that for me and it’s going to make me better.”

Second, Coach Cahoon can put on the cleats and give Davis a demonstration on how to implement a specific technique out on the field. This hands-on approach is new to Davis. However, it’s suits him just fine.

”He’s the type that can put on [gear] and show me how to run a specific route or technique,” Davis said. “Coach Holliday was kind of up there [in age], but Coach Cahoon can put on some cleats and go out and show me technique. He can show me how to drop my hips. It’s the little things that he does that helps give me the advantage and I like that. I really do. I’m ready to get out there and do some of those things he’s shown me.”

While the football side of Davis’ BYU experience has been going great, the social and fitting in side of college life has also come around for him. Being at BYU has been a great experience overall for the Texas receiver who now feels right at home in Provo, Utah.

“I’m not going to lie, the first semester was hard,” said Davis. “It does take some time to get used to, but being here has really grown on me. I’m comfortable and I’m in my rhythm now. I like being here at BYU. The atmosphere is great and the people are great. I can chill and just be myself. Overall, it’s been a great experience being here at BYU and I’ve really enjoyed it. Now with the new coaching staff here, it’s just chill and a lot more open. I really love it. I really do.”

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