South Carolina Football: Why Player Mike Davis Is Gamecocks' MVP for 2013

Lee SchechterContributor IIINovember 19, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 16:  Mike Davis #28 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball during their game against the Florida Gators at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Football is a team sport. Though, every team has one player who steps up and rises as the program's MVP. 

For South Carolina, the season started off with all of the hype surrounding Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney has not disappointed his team in 2013 as he is continuing to be a disruptive, defensive force, yet he is not the Gamecocks' MVP. 

Quarterback Connor Shaw has battled injuries throughout the season and is the heart and soul of the offense with his leadership and ability to win football games. Shaw's presence on the field arguably salvaged the season with the comeback victory against Missouri. But, even Shaw is not South Carolina's MVP. 

One player stands out from the rest, and his name is Mike Davis. 

Running back Mike Davis started the offseason with the potential to ascend to feature back duties, but nothing was handed to him on a silver platter. Teammate Brandon Wilds provided worthy competition at the position, though Davis blew the coaches away with his all-around style of play. 

Davis had the power, speed, vision and receiving abilities to be the workhorse of an offense and could also add a change of pace to the offense with his catching skills. 

By the end of the spring, Davis emerged as the starter, and since then, he hasn't looked back. Davis has stampeded all over opposing defenses, racking up the statistics and helping in every way to lead his team to victories. 

Davis has managed to rush for more than 100 yards in seven of the 10 games this season. Davis also scored at least one touchdown in each of the first seven games, including three touchdowns against Central Florida and two against Kentucky. 

All of those big games add up to 10-game totals of 1,112 yards on just 179 carries and 10 touchdowns for Davis. He has had a couple of costly fumbles, but there is no denying Davis' offensive impact with his ground game. Davis also has 30 catches for 332 yards, a good amount for a running back. 

South Carolina has seen Davis develop into a focal point of the offense and a player who the offense can trust to get the job done. He averages 6.2 yards per carry, which shows how effective he is. 

Davis may not be on Boston College's Andre Williams' level when it comes to yardage, but the running back has nearly 100 fewer rushing attempts. He is used sparingly while still maintaining his status as the feature back, and he makes every touch count. 

South Carolina's star running back also possesses another invaluable attribute: adaptability. Davis fumbled twice against Missouri, crippling his team in the first half. However, the sophomore remained resilient.

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 26:  Running back Mike Davis #28 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes up field against pressure from defenders Braylon Webb #9 and Ian Simon #21 of the Missouri Tigers during the first half on October 26, 2013 at Faurot Field/Memo
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

When Missouri slowed down Davis' running game and tried to discourage the back, the Gamecocks knew that he could get involved in the passing game, as he went on to have 10 catches for 99 yards. It's that type of versatility that brings Davis to a whole new level of play.

Another impressive quality of Davis that doesn't contribute to his status as the Gamecocks' MVP of 2013 is the fact that running back is just a sophomore. The future is bright because this elite running back will only improve and become even more of an offensive weapon.

Davis is the MVP of 2013, and he could be South Carolina's MVP of the next two years.