Knile Davis to enter NFL draft


FAYETTEVILLE — Knile Davis’ roller coaster of a career at the University of Arkansas is officially over.

Davis will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, the running back announced Wednesday. Former UA track star Mike Conley will serve as his agent and Davis will begin training with Michael Johnson at MJ Performance in Dallas on Monday.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been very reflective in weighing my options,” Davis said in a release. “However, after careful counsel with my family and support system, I’ve made the decision to forgo my final year of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. I sincerely look forward to working towards realizing my ultimate goal of becoming an NFL running back of the highest caliber.”

In his time at Arkansas, Davis suffered two broken ankles, but he also led all Southeastern Conference running backs in rushing in 2010, between the two injuries. He ultimately struggled to return to the form of his sophomore season after his second broken ankle at Arkansas and a third dating back to his high school days.

Two years ago, Davis rushed for 1,322 yards to help the lead the Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl. He rushed for 1,028 yards in just the final seven games after using an 82-yard rushing performance against Texas A&M and a 91-yard performance against the eventual national champion Auburn Tigers to phase Broderick Green out and become the lead back with Dennis Johnson injured.

Against Ole Miss that year, Davis carried 22 times for 176 yards and three touchdowns. In the next six games, he rushed for 100 yards five times, including 150-plus yard performances in wins against Mississippi State and LSU to help extend the Razorbacks’ win streak to six games and land them in their first BCS bowl game.

The Missouri City, Texas, native looked primed to make a run at the Doak Walker award and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit even called Davis a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2011, but he broke his ankle in practice Aug. 11 and missed the entire season.

This year, Davis decided to forgo the NFL draft and returned to play for the Razorbacks. At a press conference in January, Davis and Tyler Wilson said they shared a desire to play with one another and make a run at a national championship. But the backfield duo and the team overall had a disappointing season.

Davis finished the season with 377 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns while averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. He also dealt with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Tulsa and South Carolina games.

“In my four years at the University of Arkansas I’ve had many more ups than downs. As a 17-year-old coming to campus, I truly didn’t know what to expect. But, with the help of the administration, staff and my teammates, the experience has exceeded my expectation, in developing me both as a player and a man,” Davis said.

“What I will remember most over the past four years has been the patience, support and overall concern the Razorback Nation has shown me and my family after each setback,” he added. “I will forever be a Razorback and will strive to make them proud on the next level.”