Burns: Davis Gets Good Work in Saturday

CLEMSON – There wasn't a celebration, but the Clemson football coaching staff was nonetheless happy to see prize recruit James Davis back on campus and on the practice field Saturday after spending the last two days in Atlanta.

"We were certainly happy to see James back," running backs coach Burton Burns said. "He got some good work today and got back into the rotation that he was in when he left. We're just glad to have him back."

During the Tigers' second scrimmage of the season, Davis led all rushers in attempts and yards as the freshman carried it 15 times for 69 yards, which included a 28-yard touchdown run.

Burns said he couldn't remember if the touchdown run was against the first or second team defense.

Following the scrimmage, Davis refused to speak to reporters and instead issued a statement through sports information director Tim Bourret.

"I was glad to be back," Davis said in the statement. "It felt great to be with the team today. I missed the last two days for personal reasons. I look forward to working hard in practice and contributing to this team."

Burns is pleased to once again have a full stable of running backs and never thought the situation was dire straits.

"We just treated him like every other freshman we've had in the past," he said. "I think it was a normal situation when you consider the history of what freshmen have done sometimes.

"I think it was a typical freshman that was homesick and making the transition from high school to college football. He's not the first guy to experience something like and I'm sure he won't be the last.

"What happened probably had nothing to do with competition. I really believe that the kid just got homesick. He was able to go home and get his head screwed back together, he came back today and he did fine."

Starting tailback Reggie Merriweather said there are no ill feelings toward Davis and that he offered him some advice.

"I didn't get to talk to him before he left, but I was able to talk to him at practice for a little bit," said Merriweather, who had 10 rushes for 44 yards and two touchdowns.

"I was just telling him to keep his head up. Coming in as a freshman, you've got three guys in front of you and things look uncertain. You're the big guy coming out of high school and the offense really isn't what you though it was and different things like that. You've got to keep your head up and be a man about the situation. You've got to adjust. Humans are creatures of habit. You've got to adjust to these things."

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