With the graduation of Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall, the opportunity exists for someone to step up and become Pitt’s starting running back.
The names thrown around most are junior A.J. Davis, sophomore Todd Sibley and freshman Mychale Salahuddin. However, it looks like a new name is opening eyes at camp and becoming a contender to get some carries.
Vincent Davis, the freshman running back from Cardinal Gibbons High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), is a player that’s impressed and someone to keep your eye on.
As a senior at Cardinal Gibbons, Davis rushed for 1,107 yards and 13 touchdowns and led them to a Class 5A state championship, the first state championship in school history.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage, Pat Narduzzi named Davis as someone that was impressive and mentioned him as a freshman that could possibly play in at least four games this season. Remember, a freshman can play in up to four games and still be redshirted.
Although he’s impressed early, Davis knows he needs to show Narduzzi and Andre Powell that he plans on doing everything he can to be a fixture in the Panthers backfield.
“I’m just trying to be patient and taking one day at a time. I know there’s older guys here and I’m just sitting back and learning,” said Davis. “I’m a dynamic back. Me and V’Lique we have the same qualities, we have the speed to get in the gap and get going. That’s the type of back I think I am, a scat back.”
A lot of times in sports and even life, it’s about taking advantage of opportunities and that’s what Davis did on Saturday as a couple of Pitt running backs sat out the scrimmage. Davis knew this was a possible chance to show something and that’s exactly what he did.
“The night before, he (Narduzzi) let us know that Sibley wasn’t going to be able to go and Mychale wouldn’t be able to go so I had to do what I had to do. So I took that as that’s my shot,” said Davis.
The only thing that might prevent Davis from being a work-horse is his size. His 5’8″, 170 frame is something that the coaching staff will have to be careful with in order to protect him and preserve him for a long season.
“I came in knowing that in order for me to get on the field, I need to keep myself healthy,” said Davis. “I need to be healthy so that if one man goes down, the next man is up.”
One thing’s for certain, when he gets his chance this year, Davis is looking forward to playing in new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple’s offense.
“Coach Whipple is a smart guy. He just calls plays, I can’t say enough about him. He’s really a good guy.”