Arkansas Football: What Knile Davis Must Do to Contend for Heisman Trophy

Talib BabbCorrespondent IJune 18, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Knile Davis #7 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Razorbacks running back Knile Davis can be the first Heisman Trophy winner in school history. He is one of the headliners in the 18-player Heisman watch list from

Davis is coming off a lost 2011 season due to a fractured left ankle. Prior to that in 2010, Davis led all SEC running backs in rushing yards with 1,322. He achieved that by averaging an explosive 6.5 yards per carry. 

In order for Davis to contend for the Heisman Trophy, he will have to duplicate his 2010 performance, and then some. He is one of five running backs to make the list, so he has plenty of competition at his position.  

What separates Davis from the other backs is that he stands 6'2" tall and weighs 226 pounds. He clocked in a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash he ran before spring ball. He also has the element of power running, as he is able to bench press up to 415 pounds.

Arkansas will have to feed Davis the ball this year and ensure that he gets an effective amount of touches. In 2010, he averaged just over 15 carries per game. He still managed to have six 100-yard games. However, the only way he can grab the Heisman Trophy is by getting at least 20 touches per game.

Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson is also on the Heisman Pundit list as a Heisman candidate. Some might think this could hurt Davis' chances at winning the Heisman, but it could be a positive. 

There could be the possibility that team defenses will focus on Wilson and his passing ability more than they do Davis' rushing ability.

Davis has to try his best to remain healthy this season. Prior to last season, he only missed one game. So it appears that he can be a durable player.

Davis can make a defense pick its poison. He has home-run play ability and he can bulldoze his way for yardage. Davis' extraordinary body size and freakish athleticism can catapult him to being a leading candidate for the trophy.