Growing up in my grandparents house, I was raised to love all things Kansas City, as well as the University of Arkansas. My grandpa often went to Fayetteville, in the fall to watch the Hogs play on Saturdays, and even had a little Razorback statue in front of his house. So you can imagine how much Razorbacks football I’ve seen in my brief 19 years of existence.
Now, with all of that being said, after Knile Davis‘ 2010 sophomore campaign, in which he led the SEC in rushing yards amongst running backs (second overall in SEC rushing yards behind Auburn quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton), I was convinced he’d be college football’s next big thing.
The following summer, however, Davis suffered an ankle injury that would sideline him for the entire season. With hopes of a bounce-back year, the Razorbacks finished just 4-8, while Davis rushed for only 377 yards and two scores.
When the 2013 NFL Draft rolled around, and the Kansas City Chiefs took Knile Davis in the third round, I was ecstatic, to say the least. After he weighed in at a thick, lean 227 lbs. and ran a 4.37 40-yard-dash, at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, it was easy to tell that he had a chip on his shoulder.
And that’s exactly how Knile Davis ran the football, in 2013, like he had something to prove.
Even though he saw limited action, playing behind first team All-Pro, and MVP candidate, Jamaal Charles, Davis found his niche on offense, as well as special teams. Most of his impact was felt later in the season, but he finished with nearly 250 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns; and he added another touchdown on a 108-yard kickoff return vs Denver in week 13.
That’s not all he did, though. When Jamaal Charles left with a concussion during the first drive of Kansas City’s wildcard match-up, against Indianapolis, Davis was called upon to carry the load; and carry the load, he did.
While Alex Smith was playing the greatest game in Chiefs postseason history, Knile Davis was quietly having one of his best performances of his rookie year. Not to mention that it was on the biggest stage of his young career. Davis totaled 67 yards and added two total touchdowns, as well.
If it weren’t for a miraculous, fluke comeback, there’s no telling what effect Davis would have had, the next week in New England; or dare I say, the AFC Championship?
In 2014, I expect plenty of changes. I think Alex Smith will be a much more productive quarterback this year, as he’ll have an entire off-season to get more acquainted with a playbook he appears to have a pretty good grasp on.
If there’s one change that I’m hoping for, as a Chiefs and Razorbacks fan, though, it’s that Knile Davis sees almost double the playing time that he did, last season. Keep in mind that this is also coming from a huge Jamaal Charles fan. I mean, the first game I saw at Arrowhead was at his first 100-yard game, and I’ve loved him ever since.
When it really comes down to it, though, there’s just nothing more fun to watch than a two-headed monster in the backfield. Especially when one can run with the finesse and balance that Charles has, and the other is barreling downhill, with a full-head of steam, like Davis.
That reason alone should be more than enough to provide Chiefs’ fans with some excitement, in this an off-season that has already seemed like an eternity.