Heisman Hype?

CLEMSON – The Heisman Trophy hype for Clemson running back James Davis has officially started. While it's still a long shot for him to claim the prestigious trophy this year, the success he's having will no doubt lay the groundwork for an all-out Heisman campaign next season.

Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret said should Davis put forth another big game as he did against Georgia Tech, the school may start sending out junkets to members of the local and national media praising the efforts of the sophomore.

Again, the Heisman Trophy is a far reach, but that doesn't mean Davis won't have tons of other awards heaped upon him, such as ACC Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-American.

After all, he is on the verge of breaking several ACC records.

Heading into Thursday night, Davis has 16 rushing touchdowns and the ACC record is 19 set by Don McCauley of North Carolina in 1970. McCauley also owns the most touchdowns in a season of 21, set in that same year. He had two receiving.

Davis has 961 rushing yards and the sophomore record for the ACC is 1,447, set by P.J. Daniels of Georgia Tech in 2003. Assuming Davis stays healthy, he should eclipse that mark considering he has at least five games remaining.

Those are the types of numbers that get players mentioned for the Heisman Trophy, which only two players from the ACC have ever won, which was done by Florida State quarterbacks Charlie Ward (1993) and Chris Weinke (2000).

Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie won it in 1984, while Miami quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta won it in 1986 and 1992, respectively. But they weren't part of the ACC at those times.

"I think that would be a great accomplishment for me," Davis said "I think I've got a lot more stuff to work on. I don't think I'm ready to be right there right now. Next year, if I work harder during the off-season, I think I'll be (there). …

"It's something that I always dreamed of. A lot of guys dream of winning the Heisman, so the (hype) doesn't bother me at all. It's something that I would love to have. But right now, I don't want to focus in on that. A lot of guys who focus in on that tend to lose ground."

Oddly enough, what may hurt Davis next season and even this season is his teammate, C.J. Spiller, who is getting carries that would otherwise go to Davis.

"It ain't about that," Davis said. "It's about doing what we have to do to win. Bringing C.J. is going to help us win a lot more games."

Honest concerns for Koenning
If nothing else, Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is a straight shooter. He'll say what's on his mind, whether it's about a player or team or situation. And that's why the media loves him.

So when he says that Virginia Tech has the most talent of all the teams Clemson has played to date, he really means it.

Here are some of his thoughts about previous teams and the Tigers' fight to win the division:

"I was worried going into the North Carolina game, because I didn't think North Carolina would do that and sack it in," he said. "I wasn't as worried about Georgia Tech, because I just kind of thought we would do it. I just had a good feeling.

"(Virginia Tech) is one where they've got some really talented players. I just hope we can find enough energy to go in there in the cold in the hostile environment and battle them, because our players deserve it.

"I think we got the shaft at Boston College and we'd be where we have a little cushion. We've got a tougher road to get to the ACC Championship than the team we just beat the crap out of Saturday. That's just true."

God, bless him.

Davis disputes Bowden
Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said in his week press conference Tuesday that Davis was questionable because of a very sore shoulder and that there was a real possibility of him not playing due to a sore left shoulder, which kept him from practicing much Monday.

Apparently, this was news to Davis.

"I know I'm playing," he said. "I'm not worried about not playing. I feel a lot better today after the little treatment I had yesterday. There's no question I'm going to play. It's hard to keep me out of a football game. Something's got to be broken. My high school coach used to say all the time that if it's not broke, you've got to go. No question, I'm playing."

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