McElrathbey, Spence Comment on Davis

CLEMSON – Despite reassurances by his uncle that James Davis was headed back to Clemson Thursday night, the highly recruited running back was still in Atlanta on Friday.

Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden has said for two days that he expects Davis to be back by Saturday. However, Bowden hasn't spoken to the freshman directly.

"I talked to members of his family," Bowden said.

But Bowden is the only one Davis isn't speaking to at the moment.

"James is being quite quiet right now," said Davis' roommate Ray Ray McElrathbey. "Most of the stuff that's going to come out about James, James will have to tell you because he hasn't spoken to too much anybody. …"

"I tried calling him. I spoke with his uncle and his mother. They said James is fine. He's just having some problems. They told me to just be calm and be cool and it'll be all right."

CUTigers.com placed several calls to Davis' uncle, William Stephenson, and Davis' cell phone but all went unanswered.

Offensive coordinator Rob Spence said he, too, has not "recently" spoken to Davis or members of his family. Spence also said he doesn't know when Davis might return.

"But I'm not worried about it," he said. "He's going to think it over and I'm sure he's going to make a wise decision and I'm sure he'll be excited about returning and being a Clemson Tiger."

Several sources with the team said that Davis' primary concern is his role and playing time. They also said that within the last week, Davis had been openly saying he had "options" and could transfer to schools.

Spence said Davis hasn't voiced any of those concerns to him yet.

"He's a really fine young man and I'm sure that if he has those concerns he's going to bring them up later on and we'll talk it over," Spence said.

McElrathbey said he doesn't understand why Davis would have a problem with his role and that he doesn't believe Davis will transfer because, "there's nowhere to go."

"He wouldn't tell me, at least, because I'm kind of a Clemson guy," McElrathbey said. "It wouldn't be in his best interest to tell me if he was thinking about any other school."

McElrathbey said he can appreciate the issues going through Davis' mind.

"Coming out of high school, you've got one and a half hour practices and you're the man," he said. "So if you don't really feel like it or you're hurt, you don't have to practice. You don't have to do too much of anything because you're the man in high school. You're the Charlie Whitehurst. But in high school, it's an hour and 30 minutes, maybe. Not as hard conditioning and not much strain on the body. None of the students are here and we're alone and things get kind of frustrating sometimes.

"Everything was fine until you signed the scholarship. Once you sign, all the great recruit things and all the cater-to-you type things are over."

However, he added that Davis' decision to head back to Atlanta, "Came out of nowhere."

"(Wednesday) afternoon came and everything was fine and then it was kind of spur of the moment when he did actually leave. It kind of caught everybody by surprise."

Unfortunately for McElrathbey and the rest of the football, they all seem uncertain when and if Davis will return. All they can do is hope and remain positive.

"Right now, we're all in the clouds," McElrathbey said. "I really don't know when he'll be back. James is his own person. There's no guarantee I can give you. Being optimistic, hopefully he'll be here (Friday night)."

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