James Davis Already Impressive

The long, awaited arrival of Clemson's star football recruit, RB James Davis, has now taken place as he and a handful of other incoming freshmen have enrolled for the second summer school session.

And with the enrollment comes the eligibility to participate in drills, which he and the others have taken full use.

Davis, who comes to Clemson after being regarded as one of the top high school running backs in the country, is in the midst of his first week of practice as an official member of the Tigers football team.

"The most important part for James and the rest of these guys is the mental part of it," Clemson running backs coach Burton Burns said. "Physically, most of these guys are in pretty decent shape and they adjust to the physical part really good. But mentally is where they fell behind in the past.

"They would come in and have to learn a new offense and start all over again with new concepts and new terminology. So by being here in summer school, they can start solving some of that language. This way it won't be so hard on them mentally when we start practicing."

With the fact that Davis, who rushed for some 2,500 yards and scored 28 touchdowns as a senior at Douglas High outside of Atlanta and who picked Clemson over Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, is already learning plays and getting used to his teammates will go a long way toward making him much more likely to be productive right from game one.

"In the past when they get here in August, they try to show us that athletically they are in good shape," Burns said. "But at the same time, they have to learn all this new stuff that will make them swim in the head and that's usually where they get behind. So by being here earlier, it just kind of helps them because they can take their time and learn what we call a zone play or how do we block a zone play or how we adjust. So with all that terminology, they'll have a jump on that once we start in August."

Even though workouts technically got underway last Thursday, Burns said the real work starts this week, thus it's too early to tell just how good Davis looks or is doing.

However, offensive lineman Roman Fry said the 6-foot, 205-pound Davis seems to be doing just fine.

"He's looks pretty good," Fry said. "I'm also hearing good things about him. I haven't got to see him do much yet because it's still so early. But the job still belongs to the veterans and Davis has got to come in here go at it in August and battle it out if he wants to play."

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