Davis settling into college life

USC freshman tailback Justin Davis found himself listed as a co-starter at the end of the Trojans' spring practices. FOX Sports NEXT caught up with the five-star freshman during voluntary players-only summer workouts...

By the end of USC's spring practice schedule it was no secret Justin Davis was ahead of the curve.

The 2014 Scout.com five-star running back enrolled early at USC and dominated spring, arguably setting a new bar for best early enrollee… in Trojan history.

He's ahead of his freshmen, sophomore, and junior competition and according to USC head coach Lane Kiffin's post-spring depth chart, he's on the same level as Trojan senior tailback Silas Redd.

Davis told FOX Sports NEXT after summer workouts that he was excited to see his name listed as a co-starter with Redd, but knows the job isn't secure. "I realize I stil have to put a lot of work in because it's not just going to be given to me," Davis said. "The coaches, they definitely want me to work hard because they believe I can do something. So I'm just going to take it as motivation and I'm going to stay on top of my game fall camp."

Davis showed unique talent throughout his 15 spring practices, leaving Kiffin to ponder if the 6-foot-1 195-pound back was one of the strongest early enrollees in his tenure, and perhaps all-time, at USC.

Asked what propelled him to play at such a high level at his young age, Davis credited his high school program and the urgency he felt his senior season to prepare for division one football.

"My last year of high school I really had to step it up because I was going to a D-I college and USC," Davis said. "So I had to show my teammates what I was working towards, so that work I put in last year in high school definitely helped me out."

It also helped Davis' cause that Redd was sidelined most of spring after tearing his meniscus. In the absence of Redd and the limitations placed on redshirt sophomore Tre Madden as he continues to rehab his torn ACL, Davis and redshirt sophomore Buck Allen did all the heavy lifting.

"I must've been saying ‘I'm tired' at the moment, ‘we need some more backs'," explained Davis. "But at the end of it all it really helped me out a lot. Me and Buck, we got so many reps and definitely, when it's going to be a little clogged this fall camp, so when they call on me I think I can get the job done."

Since completing his first semester as a college student, Davis says he feels like he has the routine down and doesn't expect to experience as much of a challenge when balancing school and football in the fall, like he did over the spring.

"I'm already seeing how it's going to help me out because when the new freshmen came they were struggling," he explained. "I'm already over it. So it definitely helped me out tremendously."

The Trojans open their season Aug. 29 at Hawaii. Expect to see the freshman set what could be his career curve against the Rainbow Warriors.

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