As Tom Petty once said, "The waiting is the hardest part."
Arkansas fans have been waiting for the return of running back Knile Davis since last August, when the star Razorback running back fractured his ankle in fall camp.
Davis—who led all SEC running backs with 1,322 rushing yards in 2010—already wowed the Internet by squatting 600 pounds and posting it on his Twitter account.
Despite the workout feat and his work in limited contact drills, Davis continues to be held out of full contact by the Arkansas coaching staff, according to Robbie Neiswanger of ArkansasNews.com.
RB Knile Davis did not scrimmage tonight. So the wait continues for contact.— Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) August 8, 2012
Is the lack of contact something that should concern Arkansas fans?
Not yet, but that time is getting closer by the day.
For now, though, Davis' absence from full-contact practice should only be viewed as par for the course for this Arkansas team.
Everything Arkansas has done since Bobby Petrino was involved in the motorcycle accident that cost him his job is about continuity.
It was why Taver Johnson was named interim head coach, it was why John L. Smith was hired to a 10-month contract and it's why Marquel Wade was given the chance to work his way back into Smith's good graces (which didn't happen) after being arrested on felony burglary charges this spring.
With quarterback Tyler Wilson, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, linebacker Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith gone after this year, and Davis likely following suit, Arkansas realizes that this is its last best shot at taking home the crystal football before going through an inevitable rebuilding year.
Can you blame Arkansas for being cautious with Davis?
An argument can be made that he is as good as South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, if not better, and is a big piece of the Razorback puzzle.
His ability as a running back can't be denied, but a steady running game will take a ton of pressure off Wilson, who wound up on his back after virtually every play last season.
Davis will have to get used to contact at some point, but early in camp, I don't see why it's necessary. The bottom line is Arkansas needs Davis to be ready for the season, so limiting his wear and tear early in fall camp is nothing to be concerned about.
But that may change next week.
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