Saturday, October 21, 2006


Davis settles into starter's role

Nate Davis' first series as Ball State University's starting quarterback couldn't have been any worse.

On the team's third offensive play against Northern Illinois University, he was forced to call a timeout because of confusion with the play that had been called. However, it didn't do any good as he was sacked for a ten-yard loss following the timeout.

Since that play, Davis' nerves have been washed away in a sea of completions and touchdown passes. He's 38-of-52 for 545 yards and 5 touchdowns in his two starts, with only one interception.

Davis said the learning curve from high school to college has been tough.

"Back in high school, I was the best player [at Bellaire High School]," he said. "Everything was easy for me. Here you're just another player. The game's a lot faster. Everything's a lot quicker than high school."

The freshman has plenty of help in making the adjustment. His brother, Jose, was a three-year letter-winner at Kent State University from 1997-99. Jose Davis was a captain his final two years and holds 13 school records. Nate Davis said his brother even calls Ball State's offensive coordinator Stan Parrish to check up on Nate's progress.

"Jose has been very good with him and probably prepared him a little bit for this," Ball State coach Brady Hoke said. "The kid has been prepared his whole life to do it."

His mother, Linda, also plays a role. Nate Davis said he talks to his mom every single night. But football is usually the last thing on her mind. She wants to know about school first, and also helps him study. And then maybe if there's time, there's some discussion about football.

Another influence is the person whose position he took. Both Nate Davis and Brady Hoke have said that Joey Lynch is very supportive of Nate Davis. Lynch has been instrumental in Nate's progression of learning the Ball State offense. Nate Davis said having Lynch around is like having an additional coach to help him learn the offense.

"It just seems like we're brothers," Nate Davis said. "He's not some guy who's like, 'OK, I don't need to tell you. You don't worry about it.' He'll sit down and explain everything to me."

With the emergence of B.J. Hill at running back in last week's game against the University at Buffalo, the passing game could be expanded even more as the season progresses. A scary thought for opposing defenses, considering Nate Davis leads the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 195.20.

Of course, having a big target on the field helps to keep that rating as high as it is. And that's where Darius Hill comes into the equation. The 6-foot-7 tight end is Davis' favorite target on the field. He leads the team with 29 receptions for 551 yards and eight touchdowns. Darius Hill said Nate Davis rarely throws a bad ball and can put the ball right on the receiver's hands.

"He brings along a big dynamic because he has a cannon arm and an arm that can unleash the ball down the field at the moment you might not expect it," he said. "He'll just launch it for 50 [yards] on you."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?