Could James Davis Become a Star for the Cleveland Browns in 2010?

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IApril 1, 2010

Cleveland Browns second-year running back James Davis had what would be described as more of a redshirt rookie in his 2009 season due to a shoulder injury that ended his season after Week Five.

After a very promising preseason in which Davis ran for 116 yards and an 81-yard touchdown run against the Lions, Davis never really got a fair shot, buried on the depth chart behind both Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison.

With a concussion ending Lewis' season (and career) in the middle of the season, Davis could have had a chance to shine if he hadn't gotten injured, but that was not the case.

Fast-forward to today and Davis has told the media that he is not only 100 percent, but he is also stronger than he has ever been and he is ready to try his rookie season take-two.

Davis' star really needs to shine brightly in 2010, especially with a new front office in place that had nothing to do with drafting him one year ago.

This is not the first time Davis has faced adversity. When he was only a freshman he ran for 879 yards and nine touchdowns.

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After his impressive freshman year, for which he received the ACC Rookie of the Year award, Clemson picked up another running back recruit by the name of C.J. Spiller.

Both Davis and Spiller split carries; Davis never complained about it once in his time at Clemson, even though he easily could have since he should have been the featured back after a breakout freshman campaign.

Even though Spiller was way more explosive than Davis, Davis was able to hold off Spiller and lead the team in rushing his sophomore year, running for over 1,100 yards (Spiller had just over 900) and 17 touchdowns.

Moving on to Davis' junior year, he was still able to hold down the featured running back role for the second straight year over Spiller, and he ran for 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns (Spiller had 768). It's an impressive feat when looking at how high Spiller rates coming into the 2010 NFL Draft.

What hurt Davis was an injury during his senior year, and with the injury, Spiller was able to move ahead of Davis on the depth chart permanently. Davis' low draft position was due to his shoulder injury.

Still, Davis managed to run for 751 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. It's an impressive resume when competing against someone who is currently the nation's top running back prospect going into the draft.

With all this history, come back to today and Davis' demeanor is to pretend last season never happened, even though he did get some playing time and showed a few flashes.

Davis has proved in the past that when faced with adversity, especially when it's competition, he will succeed.

His competition going into the 2010 season is breakout running back Jerome Harrison, who ran for what seemed to be 800 yards (exaggeration) in the last three games of the 2009 season.

Harrison may be penciled in as the starter at this point in the offseason, but Davis will contest that in Training Camp since he is the one who needs to prove that he too can be a star running back in the NFL.


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