Davis Frustrated

CLEMSON – Star tailback James Davis wants to know what the problem is. In no uncertain terms, he wants to know why he's slowly been phased out of the offense over the course of the last month.

Davis said Friday night that he's been unhappy for a while and that he has spoken to some of the coaches about that. He also said that he has another meeting planned with offensive coordinator Rob Spence, likely on Monday, to discuss why he's not being used in the same manner as he was during the first eight games of the season.

"I've been frustrated a long time about not getting the ball like I used to during the first half of the season," he said. "Right now, I'm trying, trying, trying my best just to wait it out and see what the coaches have got in mind. I'm going to continue to talk to them and see what's going on and see how they're going to get me more involved in the offense."

Davis is so upset about the way that he's being used that his uncle called running backs coach Burton Burns to see what the problem is.

Davis said Burns told his uncle that he would talk to head coach Tommy Bowden about how the sophomore is being used.

Against Maryland, Davis had 20 carries. The next week against N.C. State, that number dipped to just 13 rushing attempts. The week after that against the Gamecocks, Davis had only 11 carries.

After jumping to a 7-1 record and No. 10 national ranking, the Clemson football team has lost three of its last four. Davis believes there's a direct correlation between wins and his number of carries.

"The way I look at it, the first eight games we were playing good and the (running back) rotation and carries and everything was good," he said. "But then now, the last four games, everything's just been different. I don't know what it is. I don't know if the coaches still think I'm hurt or they're just trying to switch things up. I'm just trying to see what's going on."

Davis suffered a deep bruise in his shoulder during the Georgia Tech game and has had to wear extra padding under his shoulder pads since.

"I've got to meeting with (Spence) to get more involved with the offense," Davis said. "It seems like they think my shoulder's hurt. I've just got to get more involved with the offense."

If the coaches really do believe Davis is hurt, that totally goes against everything they've been saying publicly for the last month.

"I really don't know what's going to happen," Davis said of the meeting and what the future holds.

Davis also said that while he wore that extra padding to protect his shoulder, it may have altered his running. He said if felt cumbersome and that it slowed him down.

At halftime of the South Carolina game, Davis took out the padding without telling the team trainers or doctors. He said he felt a lot better running with the padding out.

Unfortunately, he didn't get much of a chance to show the Clemson coaches that, which brings us to another reason why he's upset.

"Against South Carolina, I think the stat sheet shows 11 carries," he said. "But if you really look at that game, I only got the ball like five times. I was pushed into the game at the end of the game and I got like four or five straight carries on the same play. I don't count that."

The last series against the Gamecocks is what prompted Davis to feel unwanted to an extent. It was also the last straw, which caused Davis' uncle to call Burns to discuss the troubling situation.

"Reggie started out the (last) series," Davis said. "That was my series right there to start off with. I wanted to see Reggie play. It was his last game. I wasn't mad about it. I just want to win the game.

"But when they took him out, now it's my turn to get in and it's, ‘Oh, no, get in C.J. (Spiller)'. Then that becomes a question right there. I tried to talk to them after the game and Coach Burns was mad so he really didn't want to talk to nobody."

Spence has told Davis that he's the offensive coordinator and that he decides who plays. He also added that he would talk to Burns and Bowden about his role in the offense.

"I'm just really trying to get myself back to how I used to be," Davis said. "I've got to work with the coaches now. I've got to get the ball more like I used to. Hopefully everything will work out good.

"When the opportunity comes and I get the ball more, I think I'll be back to James Davis."

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