Patience key for SEC's leading receiver Ryan Davis

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Patience key for SEC's leading receiver Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis doesn't pay attention to the numbers, although it's hard not to when everybody brings it up to him.

The Auburn receiver leads the SEC in receptions this season with 31, but has the lowest yards-per-catch average among the conference's top 20 receivers at just 8.1. He's proud of the former number but understands the latter is a product of his usage.

"Some of them are screens and stuff like that, so that just comes with it," Davis said. "I know I can up that once I get in space. I'm going to catch some balls downfield. It's going to come."

Davis has led Auburn in receptions in four of the team's first six games this season, but until last weekend had never topped more than 68 yards in a game despite averaging 5.8 catches per game. His longest catch through the first five games was a 23-yarder against Mercer in Week 3.

Inside Ryan Davis' 75-yard touchdown against Ole Miss

That changed against Ole Miss, when Davis had a 75-yard touchdown reception during Auburn's 44-23 romp. It wasn't the downfield pass Davis predicts coming in his future, but rather a quick tunnel screen that he turned into the Tigers' longest play from scrimmage this season.

Along with being Auburn's longest play of the season, it was also a career-long reception for the junior out of St. Petersburg, Fla. The 75 yards he gained on that one pass also surpassed his previous career high for a single game, which he set against Mercer with his 68-yard performance.

"I knew it was (a career long) because I haven't had a long run like that in a while," Davis said. "I felt like I was back in high school."

It was the type of play Davis had been waiting all season for, despite having scored two touchdowns entering the game -- one against Georgia Southern on a 19-yard catch-and-run, and the other on a 7-yard pass from Jarrett Stidham against Mississippi State.

"I've just been patient, knowing it's going to come," Davis said. "You never know when a time is going to come, when an opportunity is going to come. But the opportunity came, and I just had to seize the opportunity. I knew I always had the capability of doing those type of plays like the one Saturday. I just knew I had to wait for it to come, and when it came, I just took advantage."

Davis has enjoyed his newfound role as Auburn's go-to receiver, even if the yards haven't been racking up. He already has as many touchdowns (three) and receptions (31) as last year's leading receiver, Tony Stevens, had all season.

"I'm still working, trying to get better and better," Davis said. "I'm just blessed to be able to keep getting those catches and the quarterbacks and coordinator trusting me with the ball."

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

from Auburn Sports Impact

No comments:

Post a Comment