Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 18 of 55 NOV. 14, 2020 19 But he was not yet what he wanted, which was also to be a great contributor. Davis split time at running back and receiver last season (Armstrong's eventual return prompted switch No. 5 back to receiver), notching 10 catches for 124 yards and six carries for 10 yards. A 12-yard reception on third down during Notre Dame's game- winning touchdown drive against Vir- ginia Tech and a 59-yard touchdown against New Mexico on a shovel pass were his season highlights. The 2019 campaign was his stron- gest impression and allowed prog- ress toward an increased workload. He entered his senior season with the most career catches of any returning Notre Dame wide receiver, with 15. Furthermore, the team was losing its top three pass catchers. There were snaps and targets to filch. The offseason discussion at re- ceiver, though, centered on North- western graduate transfer Ben Skowronek, dynamic junior Kevin Austin Jr.'s return from suspension and excitement over bumping up the speedy Braden Lenzy's playing time. At slot, junior Lawrence Keys III was healthy. Davis was sort of a forgot- ten name. And with Notre Dame's affinity for two-tight-end sets, the upside for the slot receiver's impact felt limited. To a degree, the tight end usage has indeed impacted the slot receivers. Davis' 150 snaps through six games are 50 fewer than Notre Dame's third tight end, Brock Wright. But Davis makes them count, like a senior with a sense of urgency who grew tired of hop-scotching his way through position changes. He pushes back on the idea that inju- ries to Skowronek, Austin, Lenzy and Keys fueled his rise in targets. His contributions are his doing, a result of patience and perseverance. "When preparation meets oppor- tunity, capitalize on opportunity," Davis said. "I didn't look at it as since people were hurt, it's my time to shine. "I just wanted to treat every day like a new day, go to work every day and don't let the bad days carry over. That's why I'm here where I'm at now." ✦ Davis has settled into a meaningful role at slot receiver after playing multiple spots, and pro- vided stability to a position that needed it. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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