Davis Shines in Huge Win

CLEMSON – James Davis has only played on game as a member of the Clemson football team, and already he is believed to have done something never achieved by any other Tiger tailback in school history.

Davis rushed 19 times for 101 yards, which as far as anyone can tell, makes him the first tailback in Clemson history to break the century mark in the first game of his freshman year.

And the Tigers needed every last one of those as it was his eight carries and 33 yards on Clemson's final drive that put the Tigers into field goal range for the win.

"I think I did good coming out as a freshman," Davis said. "I told coach to keep me in. I can do it for you. I know we need a winning field goal and need to run time off the clock and I'll pound it down there."

He certainly lived up to his word.

Davis broke off runs of 33 and 21 yards. He showed flashes of brilliance that made him Clemson's top recruit last winter.

And apparently the best is yet to come.

"Davis is a very, very talented player," Tigers coach Tommy Bowden said. "I think once he learns what he's doing as far as learning blocking schemes and some of the protections I think a lot of good things could happen for him in the future."

The impact by Davis was also noticed by Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione.

"He is going to be a good back for them," he said. "Clemson is better running the ball this year than they were last."

Funny thing is, none of this almost happened. Two weeks ago, he left school during the preseason because he was dissatisfied with his role on the team. He felt as though he should be the starter and get lots more carries than he was getting in practice and scrimmages.

The option of transferring to either Auburn or Georgia Tech was a thought.

Bowden said while he wasn't 100 percent sure Davis would return to the Tigers, he felt as though the freshman would eventually come around and rejoin the team, which he obviously did.

And the fans and coaching staff is thankful.

"I feel proud of myself," Davis said of his performance Saturday night. "I did this for the team, the coaches and my family."

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