AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coaches haven’t watched freshman wide receiver Kyle Davis step on the field much this year, but since he started practicing again Tuesday they like what they’ve seen.
The 6-foot-2 Davis missed most of Auburn’s fall camp after undergoing a procedure on his foot. Now that he’s healthy, coaches are eager to put the 4-star recruit on the field as soon as possible — Saturday’s game against No. 2 Clemson is a possibility — but they’ve also been cautious about his return.
“Coach (Kodi) Burns has done a good job easing him in rep-wise because conditioning, that’s probably where he’s got the biggest gap,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said. “Just from a conditioning level of running actual football plays and routes. (Head trainer) Robbie’s (Stewart) done a good job with this staff of getting them ready. We’re just trying to make sure we don’t push him too fast from a conditioning standpoint. But he’s done some really good things.”
Davis has dealt with injuries since he enrolled at Auburn in January. He missed time during the spring and was limited because of a shoulder surgery he had following his senior season.
Despite only having a few full weeks of practice, coach Gus Malzahn said there is a good chance Davis, as well as freshmen receivers Nate Craig-Myers and Eli Stove, will get an opportunity in Auburn’s home opener Saturday.
As the 2016 season gets under way, the Tigers could use Davis’ size and skills.
“He’s real aggressive, he’s very, very strong,” senior wide receiver Marcus Davis said. “He’s the guy that attacks the ball and that’s the type of things we need. Just the little time we’ve been out there he showed those flashes,” He’s a real good blocker as well and he’s a guy that wants to do those type of things. I feel like as he continues to learn he’s going to definitely be out there more.”
The deciding factor likely won’t have anything to do with Davis’ physical abilities.
“We’re just going to have to see where he’s at this week as far as the load he can carry mentally,” Lashlee said. “But he’s done a good job mentally and physically. We’ve been pleased with that. We just have to make sure we’re fair to him and what we ask him to do.”
Davis, who also lettered in track and basketball, was the MVP of The Opening and played in the Under Armour All-America game. He totaled 1,499 receiving yards and scored 18 touchdowns at Archer High School in Loganville, Ga.