Former Tar Heel Hakeem Nicks set the career touchdown record (21) back in 2008, and with rival N.C. State coming to town, Davis knows how special it would be to match the Tar Heel great on Saturday.
“Obviously I want to get the win first, but that’s in the back of my mind,” Davis said on Tuesday. “It would be amazing.”
After snagging 1,506 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first two seasons on campus, Davis had firmly established himself as the Tar Heels’ No. 1 receiving option headed into the 2014 campaign.
Given his rapid development, many expected the Gaffney, S.C. native to tie, or even break Nicks’s career touchdown mark earlier in the season. His junior campaign hasn’t followed that expected script.
Whether it’s been nagging injuries, inconsistent play from the UNC offensive line, or sharing his targets with teammates, nothing has come easy for the standout pass catcher.
The season took a positive turn when Davis caught a touchdown in three straight games (at Clemson, Virginia Tech, and at Notre Dame). The following four games, however, Davis caught just ten passes - without a score - for 112 yards.
Davis ended his scoring drought with a touchdown grab in last week’s 45-20 win over Duke. He acknowledged that 2014 has brought on its fair share of difficulties.
“Of course it’s a challenge not getting the ball as much as you’re used to,” Davis said. “But if that’s what it takes for us to win, then I’m willing to do that. I’m going to be a great teammate no matter what the situation.”
Through 11 games this season, Davis is second on the team in receptions (35) and touchdown receptions (5). The decline in production might cause some receivers to complain, or even become a distraction. Such has not been the case for Davis.
“You just have to be patient,” Davis said. “You can’t rush things. If it’s meant to happen, then it’s meant to happen.”
Teammates have also talked about how Davis has served as a veteran leader for this young receiving corps, even in the most trying of times.
“He’s been everything and more for the young guys and this program,” wide receiver Ryan Switzer said. “He’s done it right since he’s been here. He’s been a hard worker, he’s put the team first, and it’s well-deserved that he’s getting ready to break that (record).”
That positive attitude was on display when Davis talked about his personal expectations for the showdown with N.C. State on Saturday.
“They’ve been very good against the pass and we need to take advantage of open spots,” Davis said, “but it would be awesome to break it at home so I can celebrate with the fans and with my parents.”
Davis Eyeing Career TD Mark
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