David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger Soundoff: My take on the running backs

08/22/2014 1:37 PM

08/22/2014 1:43 PM

As he does, Steve Spurrier spoke the truth. South Carolina isn’t panicking because leading rusher Mike Davis has been banged up during preseason camp.

Davis will play, and most likely start, against Texas A&M. But if he can’t or doesn’t, the Gamecocks aren’t throwing up their hands and saying, “Woe is me.” Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson have had excellent camps and are ready to go, and David Williams overcame an early knee problem to have an effective final two weeks.

Spurrier said he didn’t know if Davis would be able to play, and of course Davis said he’d be fine and was practicing the day after Spurrier’s remarks. Many looked at the situation and chuckled, saying, “Spurrier lit another fire under another player.”

Davis, despite his amazing talents, has had a lot of minor injuries the past two years. That’s to be expected when playing a position where full-speed hits are numerous. It’s not easy to find the line between playing through pain and keeping an eye on the next step, especially with the short shelf life of an NFL running back.

I believe Davis’ hamstring, then his ribs, were ailing. I believe Spurrier wasn’t trying to send a message when he said that Davis might not be ready to play due to the injuries – he was saying that Davis had missed a lot of time and his backups hadn’t (truth). If that sent a message to the player, OK.

I know that the Gamecocks are stacked at tailback and while Davis is the best one, they won’t be destitute if he can’t play or play at his best.

Spurrier knows it, too.


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