As a standout high school prospect at St. Petersburg Catholic, Davis consistently made his opponents look silly in the prep ranks. His moves were so fluid and devastating to defenses that the comparisons to a certain FSU receiver were inevitable. They were inescapable. In a sense, many Seminole fans saw the reincarnation of Peter Warrick.
But it didn't work out that way for Davis, who battled with injuries throughout the first few years of his career. And when he was on the field, and his moves didn't produce the same outcome that they had in high school, fans accused No. 5 of dancing too much – trying too hard to make something happen.
"The first thing you have to learn coming out of high school is all those moves in high school don't work in college," coach Bobby Bowden said. "You get about one move then you better get gone. I am sure he has gradually learned that."
That slow-moving process led to Davis' coming out party in his junior season last year when he led the Tribe in receptions (51) and receiving yards (666). Becoming the Tribe's most reliable receiver in 2005 and consequently having the same role this season meant finding his niche with the offense.
Instead of trying to become the homerun-threat that many expected him to be, Davis mastered the art of possession-receiving by providing a reliable target for then-inexperienced quarterback Drew Weatherford. Their work last year, and the frequency at which they connected translated, combined with their work since then has created quite the partnership.
"That just comes from over the summer working out with him, doing route-running drills and stuff like that. We just have that communication," Davis said of his connection with Weatherford.
By becoming a threat as a possession receiver, Davis has opened his game up and the Seminole offense has as well. His elusiveness seems to be more on point now and so far this preseason he has become what everyone has always wanted him to be: a playmaker.
He has been a constant in post-practice stat reports. Whether it's in 11-on-11s or seven-on-sevens, he is making plays. The trend has continued in three scrimmages, too. In Tuesday's scrimmage, Davis put forth the best effort by any offensive player so far this fall with over 160-yards receiving and two scores.
"He is the one guy that is standing out every scrimmage we have," offensive coordinator/receivers coach Jeff Bowden said.
With the season opener in Miami just over a week away, Davis' Seminole career is likely to come to an end much the same way his senior year in high school did; with crazy numbers and possibly even crazier highlight reel-type plays.
And if he has it his way, the only comparisons to Warrick will be that they are both champions.
"Me and Lorenzo (Booker) talk about that everyday," Davis said with one of his trademark smiles. "We can't believe it's out last year out here. We've been here for a long time. It feels great, though."
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