The leading receiver for the Huskies finished the game with five receptions for 79 yards. And it wasn't Shakim Phillips, Michael Smith or Nick Williams.
Who was it? Geremy Davis.
The redshirt sophomore from Lawrenceville, Ga., was perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, turning the heads of many of the 35,270 in attendance. In his first season with the Huskies, Davis finished 2011 with six receptions for 73 yards. At Rentschler Field Thursday night, Davis surpassed last season's total yards and came close to matching his reception total.
Davis and quarterback Chandler Whitmer, a junior college transfer who played his first game for the Huskies, appeared to work well together early, especially on deep passes. Davis caught his longest pass of the night for 26 yards on UConn's second play in the third quarter. Later in the same drive he caught a pass for 18 yards.
|Chandler Whitmer seems to like Davis as an option (US PRESSWIRE)|
"We know what we got out there as weapons and it's no surprise to me," Whitmer about about Davis and the rest of the receiving corps. "We've seen it all in camp from some of those guys and so it definitely gives me confidence if we've got a pass play called that our receiver is probably going to win. He does a good job."
Davis was lost in the preseason shuffle with the attention surrounding the other wide receivers for the Huskies. Phillips and Smith gained a lot of the media's attention this spring with Phillips playing in his first season for the Huskies after transferring from Boston College and Smith coming back to the team after missing all of last season due to academic reasons. Against UMass, Phillips had two catches for 21 yards and Smith finished with three catches for 30 yards.
"I thought that Geremy Davis had a couple outstanding catches," Coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "He is a very big, physical receiver who is right now starting to come into his own."
Davis has the size of a tight end and the skills of a wide receiver at 6-foot-1 and 214 pounds.
"With Geremy it's been steady since I've been here," Pasqualoni said. "He's a guy that goes out there each day and he's practicing at a consistent level every day… He's a big tall guy that can catch the ball and he's always working. He's got a ball in his locker. He's a gym rat kind of guy. He just loves football."
Davis' work ethic is welcomed on this UConn team as he rounds out one of the deepest groups of wide receivers the Huskies have had in recent years. Throw in Williams, who has turned into a great slot receiver for the Huskies, tight end Ryan Griffin and tailback Lyle McCombs – and that gives Whitmer plenty of options and targets.
"It just became clear through preseason camp that he was a little further ahead," Pasqualoni said. "He passes the looks test as a big wide receiver and he's really coming into his own. He's just got to keep working on it."