National : Quarterback Davis excels in 3rd offensive system at ECU

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img With Kathleen (Fla.) High School’s lone quarterback sidelined due to injury, head coach Brian Armstrong needed someone to step up. Armstrong asked his players who should take over under center, and they felt Dominique Davis was the man for the job.Davis wasn’t really sure how to throw a football, but he made the most of it.‘I was playing receiver and my transition to quarterback, it felt comfortable because I knew how the receivers ran their routes and what they expect from a quarterback,’ Davis said. ‘It was just a blessing from God pretty much, that I can change my position from receiver to quarterback.’Davis has had a long, disjointed journey since he was thrust into playing quarterback in his junior year of high school. Since he graduated high school in 2007, Davis has dealt with more adversity than most quarterbacks in college football. He has made stops at Boston College and Fort Scott Community College and played in three different offensive systems. But after overcoming a variety of obstacles, Davis has finally found his niche as East Carolina’s starting quarterback.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis season at ECU (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA), Davis has etched his name on many NFL Draft watch lists. Thus far, Davis has thrown for 2,604 yards and 17 touchdowns and leads the team with five rushing touchdowns. His success has him thinking about the NFL, what he hopes will be his next stop.His college career began at Boston College in Jeff Jagodzinski’s pro-style offense. After redshirting his freshman season at BC, waiting behind Matt Ryan, Davis was dealt his first blow when he lost out on the starting quarterback job to senior Chris Crane the next season.When Crane suffered a collarbone injury late in the season, Davis was given his first chance to shine against Wake Forest in the second-to-last game of the regular season.And he did just that, delivering the game-winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak from one yard out.Davis led the Eagles’ pro-style offense for the final three games of the season and helped the Eagles clinch a trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.But Davis was unable to hold on to the starting quarterback position after that season. He was suspended for academic reasons that summer, and he needed somewhere else to turn.‘He’s used to adversity,’ East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. ‘He’s used to being in tough situations, and he’s handled it well everywhere he’s been. I think it’s shaped him.’Davis landed at Fort Scott Community College in 2009 to play quarterback.In a Power-I offense built around the running game, Davis led his team to the junior college national title game in his only season with the team. In the championship game against Blinn (Texas) College and its star Cam Newton, Davis rushed for three touchdowns in a narrow five-point loss.Davis later received a call from former ECU head coach Skip Holtz, who wanted him to come play quarterback for the Pirates.After visiting the campus and learning about the rich football tradition, Davis said he was sold and committed to ECU.East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill, who took over the program after Holtz left for South Florida, said the experience Davis brought to the table made him an unquestioned leader for the Pirates.That experience and his winning attitude earned him the starting quarterback job to open the 2010 season despite missing spring ball and practicing just 25 times.‘He’s experienced,’ McNeill said. ‘He’s won everywhere he’s been. At Boston College, led them to the ACC championship (game). Fort Scott Community College, he led them to the junior college national championship against Cam Newton and those guys. He’s done great here. He’s a great student and great leader for us.’With his new home, Davis had the challenge of learning yet another offense in his third collegiate stop in four seasons. But McNeill’s prolific spread offense suited Davis well, and the quarterback simply had to find consistency.With many more opportunities to throw the ball than in the Power-I set at community college, Davis flourished. In his first season as the Pirates’ starting quarterback, Davis broke single-season records in touchdown passes, completions and passing yards.‘The spread offense and the Power I is two different things,’ Davis said. ‘The Power I is more about run the ball all the time and the spread offense is more pass the ball. It’s a quarterback’s dream within the spread offense.’His passing accuracy has been the key to his success this season. Davis set the NCAA record for consecutive completions in a game when he completed 26 straight passes against Navy on Oct. 22. The record put Davis in elite company, as he passed former California quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin’s previous mark of 23 straight.Now, Davis has set his mind to playing in the NFL. And after bouncing around from system to system, Riley feels that Davis has proven he is capable of succeeding once he finds his comfort zone.‘I think he’s a guy that can get in an offense and learn and have some consistency,’ Riley said. ‘I think that would be the biggest thing I see, just getting in a place and having some consistency which he’s never had and I think his best football is ahead of him.’[email protected]last_img

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