Davis No Longer a Freshman

April 7, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Wednesday, April 7) | Video interview with K. Davis

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A year ago, Keenan Davis was thinking more about the upcoming high school promenade than spring football.

Things can sure change in 365 days.

Davis, one of three true freshmen to see action during the 2009 season for the University of Iowa, completed the ninth of 15 spring practices Wednesday in the Kenyon Football Practice Facility.

“It’s been going well,” Davis said of spring drills. “I’m feeling more comfortable. Coach is still putting technique in my head and I’m still learning. I’m always going to be learning. Spring ball is a good way to tighten up those skills you learned during the season.”

Davis, along with running back Brandon Wegher and cornerback Micah Hyde, played as true freshmen. All three were key contributors as the Hawkeyes rolled to nine consecutive victories en route to an 11-2 season that was capped with a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in the Fed Ex Orange Bowl.

“That’s the way to get experience,” Davis said. “I didn’t even play as much as I would want to, but the experience I got was key to me becoming a better player.”

Davis saw action in all 13 games, catching four passes for 55 yards and a 10-yard touchdown to wrap up the scoring during a 35-3 win at Iowa State on Sept. 12.

Because of his first-year playing time, Davis is no longer looked at as a rookie.

“Coach doesn’t even consider me a freshman anymore,” Davis said. “He wants me to teach everybody what I learned and what I went through. Just getting that playing time and getting on the field puts me at kind of an upperclassmen level. I can help out the incoming freshmen this summer even more.”

That incoming group includes one receiver — Kevonte Martin-Manley, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Bloomfield, Mich. There are two lessons Davis can share with young players, including Martin-Manley.

“Patience and just relax,” Davis said. “Once you relax you can be the athlete that you are and be the person that they recruited. Once you relax, everything becomes easier and it slows down for you.”

The Hawkeyes turned in another sharp practice Wednesday, a day that featured cool temperatures and an annoying drizzle.

“This is football weather, Iowa weather,” Davis said. “I’m kind of used to it. You get over it, come out here and practice.”

The Hawkeyes return six starters on offense: wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Julian Vandervelde, quarterback Ricky Stanzi and fullback Brett Morse. Wide receiver Marvin McNutt and Wegher were part-time starters.

Iowa’s final practice of the spring — on Saturday, April 17, inside Kinnick Stadium — will be open to the public beginning at 1:05 p.m.