The great Davis debate

CLEMSON - Over the final half of Mike Davis' impressive sophomore campaign, it's become an interesting topic for debate.

Which brother is a better running back, Mike or James Davis?

James is second on Clemson's all-time rushing list with 3,881 yards. The ‘Thunder' portion of the Tigers' popular running back duo, he's one of the most beloved players in school history.

Mike is currently 20th in the country with 1,112 yards rushing. It's just the 10th 1,000-yard season in South Carolina history.

Dabo Swinney is familiar with both of the Davis boys.

He was interim head coach during the final seven games of James' Clemson career. Mike, a four-star prospect out of Stone Mountain High School in Georgia, had a Clemson offer before signing with South Carolina in February of 2012.

The question was posed to Swinney on Tuesday: Is Mike Davis a better running back than his brother?

Mike Davis is the top rusher at South Carolina this season.
"I don't know about that. I'll say this: He's on his way to being -- I think he's already a great player. If he can have the longevity that James had, he's going to be on his way to being every bit as good," Swinney said. "James Davis was a special player, was a great running back here at Clemson. Mike is well on his way, well on his way, no question about it."

As a freshman, Mike rushed 52 times for 275 yards and two scores. Against Clemson, he had 12 carries for 43 yards.

"He kind of came on the scene last year, late for them," Swinney said. "This year, he's really become the guy. James got off to a little better start, probably, as a freshman. He had a little more opportunity as a freshman."

Mike is well on his way to having a successful career in Columbia.

"If he stays on the track he's on, it'll be interesting to see who has bragging rights at the turkey table when those boys get together," Swinney said. "They can each have their own things to talk about."

James spent parts of three seasons in the NFL. He rushed for 75 yards on 28 career carries.

"I think they're very similar," Swinney said. "They're both big, 200-plus pound guys.

"Mike's a little thicker, to me, a little thicker. Both of them are powerful. Both of them run through tackles. Mike might be a little faster, a little bit faster overall. But both of them have that innate ability to create yards when there isn't anything there."

Swinney added, "Very, very tough runners, both of them. James might have been more of a slasher. Both are special, in my mind." Top Stories