The 1,000-yard club: Gamecock greats weigh in on Mike Davis

November 15, 2013 

South Carolina running back Mike Davis (28)

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina’s Mike Davis leads the SEC and is 11th in the country in rushing this season with 117.6 yards per game. In the Gamecocks’ victory against Mississippi State, the USC sophomore running back joined the team’s prestigious 1,000-yard club.

Davis has 166 carries for 1,058 yards this season, with at least four games remaining to pad his total. Davis is the eighth player in South Carolina history to gain more than 1,000 yards rushing in a season, and The State reached out to some of those former Gamecocks to get their opinion of Davis.

GEORGE ROGERS

“I think he should get the ball more, that’s what I think about him. He’s a great running back. He’s showing he’s got the speed. Marcus Lattimore was great running back, and and I don’t think he has the speed Davis has. He’s got some speed like I had. I wasn’t slow. I don’t remember getting caught from behind. Might have, but don’t remember it. Davis also has some wiggle. He can make a move on you. If he ain’t a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy next year, they ought to cut it out. I don’t want to the be only one to win the Heisman Trophy at South Carolina. It’s been fun, but nobody else can ever be first. There ain’t no question, I think he’s got Heisman Trophy ability, but he’s not going to get it getting 12 and 15 carries. You have to run him 22, 25 times a game so he can get some yards. They are running 13 and 15 times and ,letting the other guy come in and run 10. When I was playing, you stayed out there on the field. Give it to No. 28 and tell them to get out of the way. You have to throw the ball some I know, but… I’m talking about give it to him some times in a row. Not two or three timese in a row. He’s got to run it like 10 times in a row if he’s making yards. You’ve got to get that lather up. Get that sweat going, then you are running.”

MARCUS LATTIMORE

“I get to watch every game on Saturdays. Honestly, I’m not surprised that it happened. He’s got everything you want in a running back. If he keeps his head straight, and he doesn’t look at all the hype that he’s going to receive next year, he’s going to go down as one of the best running backs ever in the SEC. First of all, he’s got everything you want in a running back — quickness, speed, power. And he uses it while he’s running. For example, when he gets the ball, and he sees the seam, he’s going to hit it with his quickness, with his speed, with his power. He can bring it inside, cut it inside. He’s got great feet, too. His footwork is, I think, that’s what separates him from everybody else.”

KEVIN LONG

“He’s a very good runner. If he sticks around, he might get a few more records. He’s a good combination. He’s got the running back genes, the power, speed, quickness, great eyesight. He’s what you want in a back. I think it’s a little tougher (to rush for 1,000 yards today) because you don’t have your traditional backfield so much. They use a fullback, but here’s a guy pretty much playing in a passing offense. There is a lot of zone blocking and running. I don’t know if I could run in that offense. I don’t know if he’ll get enough touches to be able to (contend for a Heisman Trophy in the future).”

-- Josh Kendall and David Cloninger

USC’S 1,000-YARD RUSHERS

Gamecocks running backs who have gained more than 1,000 yards in a season:

Player (Yr.) Yds.
1. George Rogers (1980)1,894
2. George Rogers (1979)1,681
3. Marcus Lattimore (2010)1,197
4. Kevin Long (1975)1,133
5. Duce Staley (1996)1,116
6. Clarence Williams (1975)1,073
7. Derek Watson (2000)1,066
8. Mike Davis (2013) 1,058
9. Harold Green (1987)1,022
10. George Rogers (1978)1,006

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