UF freshman Davis making statement with play

Malik Davis
Florida running back Malik Davis runs the ball during the first half of a game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

Florida true freshman Malik Davis may be closing in on the starting role at tailback coming off his strong fourth-quarter performance in the win at Kentucky. But, regardless who starts, the Gators will continue to rotate their three tailbacks against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

“He’s a guy that … we’ll rotate those guys,” UF coach Jim McElwain said, when asked if Davis had earned a start based on his performance against the Wildcats. “He obviously was a guy with the hot hand there at the end, and yet when you look at some of the unsung things, Lamical ran hard to begin with and Mark Thompson really did some things that maybe didn’t go noticed.

“Obviously, besides keeping the drive alive, (Thompson) had a couple of unbelievable lead blocks in some situations, did a really good job in pass protection. In saying that, obviously Malik had a good game.”

Davis was the go-to running back with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, converting a fourth down and several third downs. He finished the game with 93 yards on 21 carries.

Davis had only five carries going into the UK game, including one that went for 72 yards but ended in a fumble in the Tennessee game.

McElwain said he’s not surprised that Davis is quickly evolving into a playmaker.

“We expect that from all of our guys,” he said. “That’s why we recruit them. We’ve got faith in them. We’re not afraid to play them. No matter what the position is, as long as they have shown proof that they are ready for it. A lot of times the playing time piece is a personal choice by the player based on their actions.”


  1. When do we “expect” more from our head coach when it comes to the offense and the offensive coordinator, especially since the head coach has recruited “guys” who are “expected” to do a lot at Florida? Just asking, coach. And, if Davis does not start vs. Vandy, then my expectation for you and Nussmeier will fall to a new all-time low concerning the offense.