South Carolina running back Mike Davis is turning heads in the SEC and throughout the country.
With the departure of fan favorite Marcus Lattimore to the NFL, Davis had the opportunity to become the team's feature back as just a sophomore. For many players, this would have been a difficult transition and a steep hill to climb. But for Davis, it has been easy as pie.
Davis emerged in the spring as the starter and has not looked back. By churning his legs, reading the gaps and breaking free for big runs, Davis is looking like a beast in the Gamecocks' run game and more.
Davis's rise to prominence has him positioned to capture all-SEC honors in 2013.
Here are three things that Mike Davis must do to secure all-SEC honors.
1. Maintain a yards per carry average of 5.0-plus
Through three games, Davis is averaging 7.6 yards per carry, a staggeringly high number. Some of the credit for his high yards per carry average is due to his pair of 75-yard runs with one being for a touchdown.
Against Georgia, South Carolina's toughest opponent so far and only loss, Davis averaged 9.3 yards per rush. If he can put up statistics like that over an elite SEC team, he can do just about anything.
As the season progresses, Davis has some big games against the Mississippi State and Clemson defenses.
A big performance against Clemson paired with the already strong showing in the Georgia game will go a long way for Davis.
Davis will need to continue to shred defenses and maintain that high yards per carry average if he wants to keep his distance from other SEC running backs who are vying for all-SEC honors.
2. Finish the season with 35 receptions
Davis is not only a great running back, but he is also a highly skilled receiving back.
His balance as a rusher and receiver makes him such a deadly offensive weapon.
This season, Davis has seven catches for 116 yards.
His start to the season as a receiver shows he is worth paying attention to. Though, Davis needs to increase his body of work in the passing game.
By catching 35 balls, Davis proves that he is a true force and a player that cannot be left alone on any play.
A running back who shows he is a multi-dimensional, versatile back separates himself from the field.
Davis is that type of player.
Also, with that many receptions, a few are bound to go for touchdowns which can't hurt his campaign for all-SEC honors.
3. 10-plus rushing touchdowns
Right now, Davis has a rushing touchdown per game.
He absolutely needs to reach double digits in touchdowns to assert his place as the SEC's best back. Normally, 10 or more rushing touchdowns can be a daunting task for an SEC running back. Yet, this year is different.
South Carolina has a favorable schedule through the middle part of the season and that opens up the door for Davis to run through.
He can easily put up a handful of multiple touchdown games.
Davis's trifecta of a high yards per carry average, receiving stats and scoring ability should put him into position to win all-SEC honors in 2013.