Monday, June 9, 2014
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Antwuan Davis
By Max Olson
Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series will take a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
Recruitment rewind: An ESPN 150 recruit who ranked No. 2 among in-state corner prospects out of Bastrop, Texas, Davis had to wait for his offer until April 2012 and committed a month later. He held offers from all the big in-state schools and was also an elite sprinter, earning silver in the 100-meter dash at the state track meet as a junior. Davis picked off three passes and averaged 10.5 yards per carry in his senior year.
Career so far: Mack Brown would've loved to get Davis on the field as a true freshman -- he said so repeatedly throughout the 2013 season -- and who knows how many times the staff might've come close to putting him on the field. But Davis redshirted last fall and bulked up 10 pounds. In his first taste of wearing burnt orange, Davis played corner with the No. 2 defense in the spring game and recorded three tackles.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Might a shot at the nickel spot make sense for the über-talented Davis? With Quandre Diggs presumably moving back to his standard corner spot, Texas is left with several intriguing options when it has to cover four-wide sets. A healthy Sheroid Evans and Bryson Echols will provide good competition at this spot, and the Longhorns do have DBs like Josh Turner that have experience in those situations. But don't be surprised if it's Davis who emerges and plays major minutes this fall.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: The aforementioned players are all more experienced than Davis, so that bears mentioning. And as we've acknowledged with several other DBs in this series, the X-factor will really be what Texas' new secondary coaches look for and what traits they value most in their players. Evans has been poised for a breakout for some time now. If he finally flips the switch, it would probably come at the detriment of Davis' playing time.
Future expectations: The expectation for Davis when he joined the program shouldn't be any different today: He can develop into an All-Big 12 caliber cornerback. Now that he's set to see the field, Davis needs to keep making progress and take advantage of whatever opportunity the new staff provides him, even if that means a stint on special teams to start off. He's going to be special someday, no doubt about that.