Player Profile: Matt Davis

The Pony Stampede staff continues to profile possible starters for SMU football this season and QB Matt Davis is up!

Matt Davis

Position: Quarterback

Size: 6-1, 210

Year: Sophomore (transferred)

High School: Klein Forest

Hometown: Houston, TX

Recruitment: Under head coach Ken Hammock, Davis was a star at Klein Forest. He earned District 13-5A Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, but missed his junior year due to a knee injury. As a senior he returned to throw for 1,483 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for another 931 yards and 12 TDs. As a four-star and the No. 6 quarterback ranked nationally by, he chose Texas A&M over offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State.

Last College: Tyler Junior College

2013 Review: After redshirting for one year at A&M in 2012, Davis left the Aggies because of a coaching change and the presence of Johnny Manziel, who was going into his second season as the starter. Davis became the signal-caller for Tyler last season before a foot injury derailed his season. For the year, he appeared in just seven games and mostly played average football. However, he did show flashes of tremendous ability in a couple games.

Against Blinn, Davis was 14 of 21 for 151 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while also rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He was named the Southwest Junior College Football Conference and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Offensive Player of the Week after the late come-from-behind win for Tyler.

Grade: C

Outlook in 2014: It will be very interesting to see how June Jones decides to handle Davis because the 6-foot-1 Houston native is not a typical Run N Shoot quarterback. Garret Gilbert was pretty mobile and could certainly make plays with his feet, but he is nothing like the dual-threat Davis.

Davis is a freak athlete who can make plays on the move. In fact, many consider him a run-first quarterback who will look to scramble more often than not. That’s not exactly what Jones usually looks for in his quarterbacks, so Davis will have to improve on his pocket passing ability to make his transition at SMU easier. Jones may have to tweak the offense and implement a few plays to better utilize Davis’ strengths. However, it will be up to Davis to do most of the adjusting. Another factor working against him is the fact he wont have spring ball. Jones has said in the past it can take a year to learn SMU’s thick, and sometimes complicated, playbook. With only a couple months, the talented Davis will be at a major disadvantage to returning starter from the end of the season Neal Burcham.

Davis will be an exciting player for the Mustangs and make a major impact at some point. He was plenty of talent and can do a lot of different things outside the pocket. For now, it’s just a matter of how long it will take him to adjust and learn the offense. He has had an interesting couple of years since leaving high school, but, if he can prove himself at the FBS level, his talent is definitely worth the risk for the Mustangs.

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