AUBURN, Ala. — Well, this is it for Marcus Davis.
The senior receiver has long wanted to be Auburn’s top dog on offense and it appears his chance has finally arrived after a breakout spring on the practice fields.
“I feel like I’m the go-to guy,” Davis said. “I feel like I can make plays when I’m called on, so it’s just a matter of putting me in positions. I feel like I can make any play.”
Davis said all of this before leading the Tigers’ offense with three catches for 88 yards and one touchdown. It was only a scrimmage, but it would have ranked as a career-best performance for the Boynton Beach, Florida native.
In an era of at least one receiver stepping up with borderline 1,000-yard seasons in the Gus Malzahn era, it’s the 5-foot-9 Davis who could be primed for a breakout year. Still, he has only 490 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons, and there’s competition in the form of a trio of incoming freshman receivers aiming to be starters.
Until then, Davis is the big man on campus, even if he is five inches shorter than the last two big guys to lead the group: Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis.
“He’s had a great spring,” quarterback Sean White said. “You saw [at A-Day] I thought he played really well, he had a nice catch on John (Franklin III’s) touchdown and a really nice catch on a deep pass earlier when I was at quarterback. He’s been dependable. He’s the senior leader of the offense, in my opinion, and all of the receivers follow his lead and work ethic. It shows when he’s on the field.”
First-year receivers coach Kodi Burns leaned on Davis quite a bit in the spring. Burns called Davis the “heartbeat” of the receivers.
“It’s real fun just being an extension of the coaches, because I’m a guy that knows the ins and outs,” Davis said.
And it may lead to him being counted on as the big-play receiver in the offense in the fall.
“I know if I’m the No. 1 guy, I’ll be sure to make plays,” he said.