The firing of former head coach Bobby Petrino was big news for the Arkansas Razorbacks during the offseason, but it may not be the biggest concern that this team is facing ahead of the 2012 campaign.
That, instead, may very likely be the health of running back Knile Davis.
Last season, the Razorbacks had the 13th best passing game in the country, but struggled mightily to run the football, averaging just 137 yards on the ground.
That would change if Davis was healthy in 2012, considering he rushed for over 1,300 yards in 2010. He has great size and a scary combination of speed and power. The problem is, he suffered an ankle injury in 2011, which forced him to miss the entire season.
Here are some of the latest updates on his health from SEC Media Days.
Despite the number of backs in the league, and the fact that Davis missed an entire year, he is certainly not short on confidence (via Edward Aschoff of ESPN):
#Razorbacks RB Knile Davis: "I'm still the best running back in this league." strong statement— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) July 18, 2012
Davis added that he feels he has the best combo of speed, strength and agility at RB in this league. Respects others but "knows" he's better— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) July 18, 2012
It will be interesting to see what some of the other great backs in the country have to say about those comments.
The main question surrounding Davis is if he will be cleared to play by the time the season kicks off.
It seems he has put those questions to rest (via Fish 'n Stats' Rob Fischer)
Knile Davis says he's ready to get hit. Says he plans on getting hit in camp and is cleared to be full go in camp— Rob Fischer (@thefishnation) July 18, 2012
That is music to the Razorbacks fans' ears.
Davis has not played football for a long time, and hasn't even participated in spring drills.
When he is finally able to get back on the football field, you can only imagine how he will feel (via Fox Sports and Scout.com writer Laken Litman):
Ark RB Knile Davis on getting that first hit: "I'm anxious...I got butterflies a little bit, but I'm ready to do it." twitter.com/LakenLitman/st…— Laken Litman (@LakenLitman) July 18, 2012
I'm sure the Arkansas fans cannot wait to see him back on the field either.
Now that we know Davis should be ready to go by the time the season kicks off, he is not only confident in his abilities, but confident that this year's team will do extremely well (via ESPN's Joe Schad):
Davis told Petrino to watch the team closely this season. "I told him, 'We're going to put on a show."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 18, 2012
With an experienced quarterback returning, talent at the receiver position and a 1,000-yard rusher at running back, Arkansas should have one of the better offenses in the entire country.