A Case of Deja Vol All Over Again

Four years ago Tennessee signed the top player from Georgia in running back Jabari Davis, a big bruiser with sprinter's speed also known as the "J-Train" and "Baby Earl" for a power running style that resembled former NFL great Earl Campbell.

This year the Vols are in the hunt for another Georgia runner who is drawing comparisons to Indianapolis great Edgerrin James. His name is James Davis, and he plays for Douglass High School in Atlanta. At 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, this Davis isn't as big or as powerful as Jabari, but his open field skills are nothing short of seriously scintillating and his confidence is unshakable.

"I think I'm an Edgerrin James clone," he told The Insiders Ryan Jordan. "I have that speed and power. I want to rush for at least 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. I should pretty much dominate this year."

Davis dominated last year, picking up 1,592 yards with 18 touchdowns and gaining another 222 yards in receptions with one touchdown in just nine games. He plans to dominate next year as well, listing early playing opportunity as one of the primary factors in choosing a school. Davis cited a couple of examples of freshmen backs that had an early impact on the college scene.

"Did Marshall Faulk play as a true freshman?" he asked rhetorically. "How about Herschel Walker?...I think I'm just as good as Herschel was and if he didn't have to redshirt then I think I can play too."

There's certainly no shortage of schools to choose from and the offers keep rolling in. With the Vols losing seniors Davis, Cedrick Houston and Derrick Tinsley there's ample opportunity for a freshman to make a splash on the Hill in 2005 — a point not lost on Davis.

"My top schools are Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and LSU" he said. "I have a high interest in all of those."

Davis, who bench presses 275 pounds and runs a 4.45 time in the 40, also has offers from Miami, Virginia Tech and Florida among others. He attended a mini camp at Clemson and has plans to be at a one day camp in Alabama on June 19, if he doesn't decide to attend Tennessee's Senior Camp instead. He attended Tennessee's Spring game in April. He carries a 3.0 GPA and took the SAT for the first time last week.

Davis knows it's his spin moves and acceleration that excites the crowd, but he doesn't consider himself a finesse or speed runner.

"I am unstoppable with great speed and power," Davis said when asked to describe his running style. "I am more of a power running back, who can make people miss. I love to run between the tackles and punish defenders."

Given his ability to destroy opponents with his speed, that type of punishment should be a crime.


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