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Davis Steps Into Play-making Role

By Anthony Richards
SouthernPigskin.com
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Quinshad Davis’ 6-foot-4 frame provides North Carolina starting quarterback Bryn Renner with a large target to rely upon in traffic and in the redzone.

North Carolina’s offense saw vast improvement during Larry Fedora’s first season as head coach.  The offense went from fifth in the ACC in 2011 to second in total offense, trailing only Clemson.

A major reason for the offense’s improvement was the addition and progression of wide receiver Quinshad Davis, who led the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns as a true freshman. 

As the 2012 season moved along, Davis’ role in Fedora’s offense grew and he developed into a go-to guy.  In the first six games of the season, Davis averaged three catches per game, while in the last six games he averaged seven catches per game, including an ACC record 16-catch performance against Virginia.

His first 100-yard receiving game did not come until week 10 against Georgia Tech, but he finished with three in the final three weeks of the season.  The late season burst should provide momentum that he and the offense can carry over into the upcoming season.

Davis’ 6-foot-4 frame provides starting quarterback Bryn Renner with a large target to rely upon in traffic and in the redzone.  Davis has also shown big-play potential averaging 12.7 yards per catch.

As a four-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of high school, Davis was a big signing in Fedora’s first recruiting class.  Davis was specifically targeted by the North Carolina staff during the short recruiting period after Fedora was hired and by the end of the season proved to be a perfect fit in Fedora’s offense.     

The loss of Erik Highsmith and Giovani Bernard to graduation and early departure to the NFL and a foot injury to sophomore receiver T.J. Thorpe during spring practice have created questions of depth for the North Carolina receiving corps.  Because of those concerns, Davis’ role within the offense looks to grow even more with the help of junior receiver Sean Tapley and junior tight end Eric Ebron. 

The relationship and timing that began to develop between Davis and Renner in the second half of last season will be even sharper the more reps that they take in practice.  The more reps they have with each other will lead to a stronger understanding on the field.

In just his second year, Davis has taken the step from phenom to playmaker and seems to be the most proven option that the receiving corps has returning.  In order for the offense to account for the same production it did a year ago, Davis’ progression must continue.

Anthony Richards - Anthony was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fla. and currently attends the University of North Florida. He is a sports journalist, with a particular passion for college football in the south and the atmosphere that surrounds it. He enjoys the classic southern combination of Bar-B-Q and a large glass of sweet tea. You can reach Anthony at antnyrich@comcast.net.