It’s been a while since Justin Davis has felt this good. In fact, as he prepares for his junior season he has to think all the way back to the first time he stepped on the USC campus as the last time he’s felt as healthy as he does now.
Davis, who was an early enrollee, showed flashed glimpses of brilliance from the beginning of his career. Before Buck Allen became Buck Allen it was Davis who was making noise in the USC backfield as he found a way to crack the rotation as a true freshman.
He averaged nearly seven yards a carry and rushed for six touchdowns in seven games before an ankle injury ended his freshman season. The injury required surgery and the Stockton native’s return to the lineup as a sophomore lacked a lot of the glitz he had as a freshman.
He averaged two yards less per carry and never seemed to get into a good rhythm throughout the course of the season. He was plagued by ball security issues.
There’s no Buck Allen this spring. He elected to enter the NFL Draft. And to this point there’s been no Tre Madden either as he continues to work his way back after missing all of last season with a toe injury.
As a result the bulk of the carries this spring have gone to Davis. He likes it.
"I’m out here running with the ones," Davis said. "I really didn’t get to do a lot of that last year, so maybe there’s some missteps there but right now I’m building a really good relationship with them and it’s turning out great."
While the running back group may be slim today, it will receive a boost in time for fall camp when Madden should be at full strength and highly touted signees Aca’Cedric Ware and Ronald Jones II will be enrolled. It’s believed the freshmen will push for playing time and Davis knows all too well what that’s like having done it himself.
"I got to be on my game come August because you never know what could happen," Davis said. "I’m going to push them. They’re going to push me."