Bret Bielema will bring his physical running style to Fayetteville next year but his best running back won’t be there to reap the benefits. Knile Davis will declare for the NFL Draft and forgo his senior season.
Davis issued this statement Wednesday:
“In my four years at the University of Arkansas I’ve had many more ups than downs. As a 17 year old coming to campus, I truly didn’t know what to expect. But, with the help of the administration, staff, and my teammates, the experience has exceeded my expectation, in developing me both as a player and a man.”
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been very reflective in weighing my options. However after careful counsel with my family and support system, I’ve made the decision to forego my final year of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. I sincerely look forward to working towards realizing my ultimate goal of becoming an NFL running back of the highest caliber.”
With a new coach who produces 1,000 yard rushers and Heisman Trophy candidates nearly every year it was believed Davis could be enticed to stay for his senior season and raise his stock for next year’s draft.
The last two years have been marred by injury for Davis. After being selected as a 2nd team All-SEC selection as a sophomore in 2010, Davis missed the entire 2011 season with a fractured left ankle.
He saw little contact in practice last summer and was never fully healthy for the 2012 campaign. Davis battled a hamstring injury throughout the conference season, which limited his carries and yardage. He had just 112 carries for 377 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Davis also took the time to thank his teammates and the fans.
“What I will remember most over the past four years has been the patience, support, and overall concern the Razorback Nation has shown me and my family after each setback,” he said. “I will forever be a Razorback and will strive to make them proud on the next level.”
Freshman Jonathan Williams looks to be the next in line to receive the bulk of the carries in 2013. He gained 231 yards in 2012 and averaged 5.1 yards a rush.
Bret Bielema ran the ball 590 times this season at Wisconsin.