No. 145: Jon Davis, TE, #3, Illinois
2011 Stats: 22 catches, 187 yards, 1 TD
Davis burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2011, catching 22 passes (third on the team) for 187 yards and one score. Halfway through the season, Davis only had three catches. The vast majority of his productivity came during the Big Ten season, when he emerged as a quality receiver in the middle of the zone.
Of course, during that time when Davis was racking up most of his stats, the Illinois offense (and record) was in the middle of a freefall, one that would eventually cost Ron Zook his job — and perhaps Nathan Scheelhaase his starting QB spot. Davis needs to be able to stretch defenses more reliably, as 8.5 yards per catch won't get it done as his career progresses.
Tim Beckman is going to need leadership wherever he can get it from the offense, and with A.J. Jenkins out the door, there will be a lot of catches to go around in 2012. Davis is probably going to pick up a decent amount of that slack and increase his production, but the former four-star TE project is still at least a year away from serious contention for all-Big Ten honors.
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