Iowa Wide Receiver Keenan Davis Gains Confidence from Teammates

B.Senior Analyst IAugust 11, 2010

With Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt standing atop the wide receiver food-chain at Iowa, a few players can be overlooked.

True sophomore Keenan Davis might be one of those players.

Coming into Iowa, Davis was one of the top 20 receiver recruits in the nation. He is a natural athlete and his high school career is proof of that. 

Davis was a two-time all-state wide receiver who caught 133 passes for over 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns the last two years at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He also won an state track championship in the 4×200-meter relay and led the school basketball team in scoring (14.2 ppg).

His abilities helped him to earn the Des Moines Register's 2009 High School Male Athlete of the Year and the Cedar Rapids Gazette's 2009 Athlete of the Year.

Before choosing to play football at Iowa, Davis considered offers from Arizona State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. 

Davis had a modest freshman year playing backup to McNutt, with four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State. He looks to improve heading into his sophomore year.

"As a freshman, there is so much thrown at you,” Davis said during Iowa’s media day. “But once you start going you start getting into a routine.”

Davis is quick to point out that he has benefited greatly from the depth and competition at wide receiver. 

"I feel a lot more comfortable, a lot more confident because the Marvin's and the DJ's have been helping me out," the young receiver explained. His increased comfort and confidence has been noticed by his coaches.

"I look for him to step up this year," mentioned wide receiver coach Erik Campbell during media day events. In the past, Campbell has suggested that Davis could be one of the most talented receivers he has seen during his coaching career.

Considering that Campbell spent 13 seasons at Michigan coaching the likes of Amani Toomer, Steve Breaston and Braylon Edwards, it’s beyond safe to say Campbell’s opinion probably hits the nail on the head. 

In the off-season, Davis continued to improve his talent. He feels there is always something to learn from, and he has been putting in the extra effort.

At Iowa, hard work is regularly rewarded.

"Coach [Ferentz] already told us, this is going to be like nobody's a starter," Davis said. "Everybody's going to be working really hard."

Even if Davis doesn't earn a starting spot, his playing time should likely increase dramatically this season. That’s a good thing for Iowa.