Mike Davis has few concerns as his South Carolina career begins. The team’s depth at running back isn’t one of them.
“I don’t really look at it like that,” he told GoGamecocks recently. “I’m just coming in trying to compete and trying to play.”
The Gamecocks return Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Lattimore, in addition to senior Kenny Miles, sophomore Brandon Wilds and redshirt freshman Shon Carson.
“We are sort of loaded at running back,” head coach Steve Spurrier said in June at a Gamecock Club event in Hartsville.
In addition to the four returnees, USC signed two running backs in the 2012 class: Davis from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga.; and Kendric Salley from Williston-Elko High in Williston.
Davis might be the most decorated of this year’s newcomers. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Game after a senior season in which he rushed for 1,923 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He chose South Carolina in January after originally committing to Florida.
Early playing time is a goal, he said.
“Yes, I really do want to play,” he said. “That’s one thing that drives me. That’s one thing that I’ve been hungry for as a freshman.”
Davis worked out his last few months at Stephenson High with the track team. Workouts turned into him competing in the 4-by-100, he said.
“I really didn’t want to run any events. I just wanted to work out,” he said. “They made me run the 4-by-100. My coach told me he knew I was a fighter and wouldn’t quit.”
On the football field, Davis was a four-star prospect by all recruiting services, including being ranked as the fifth-best running back by 247Sports and sixth-best by Rivals.
“He’s like a little bowling ball, very fast and very hard to tackle,” said Mike Farrell, Rivals national recruiting analyst. “And he can catch the ball out of the backfield.”
This summer, Davis said he wants to have fun, work hard, get better and be ready to show coaches what he can do once practice starts.
He enrolled at USC in time for the first summer semester and planned to work out as much as possible with Lattimore.
“I hope that I can learn a lot: the game speed, what to do and what not to do, to get faster and my agility,” Davis said. “I don’t want to get to the fall without getting to know some of the things that he knows.”