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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #4 Avery Davis, Cornerback

The quarterback-turned-running-back-turned cornerback enters his junior season hoping to help fill the gargantuan void Julian Love left behind him

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.

#4 Avery Davis, CB

Avery Davis has had quite the first couple years in South Bend.

The 5’11” Cedar Hill, Texas native committed to Notre Dame as a 4-star QB in the 2017 recruiting class, coming to South Bend as an undersized but well-thought-of signal caller in terms of both his ability to sling it all over the field and his athleticism/running ability.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

His first season under the Dome was spent as a redshirt, running the scout team offense while Brandon Wimbush and backup Ian Book manned the QB slot en route to the Irish’s 10-3 2017 season.

With blue chip freshman QB Phil Jurkovec arriving in 2018 and with Wimbush and Book still ahead of Davis, the Irish coaching staff did their depth-chart-engineering thing and sought a way to get Davis’ athleticism and playmaking ability onto the field, moving him to running back. This seemed like a way for Davis to earn some substantial playing time, as Josh Adams had departed for the NFL, Dexter Williams was suspended for the first 4 games of 2018, and the rest of the running back corps was inexperienced and unproven, to say the least.

Michigan v Notre Dame Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Davis earned some time early on in the season, but never did enough damage to warrant any increases in PT, especially with Jafar Armstrong starting the year off strong. Davis’ best game was in the blowout win over Wake Forest, when he ran for 43 yards on 9 carries and also added 2 receptions for 15 yards for good measure.

However, as the year wore on and Dexter Williams returned from suspension and the Irish contended for a College Football Playoff spot, Davis ended up only playing in one more game after the Irish’s win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in early October, getting a few mop-up carries at the end of a rout of the Florida State Seminoles on Senior Day. He finished the year with 70 yards rushing (3.2 yards per carry) and 5 catches for 30 yards receiving.

Now, even with Dexter Williams having moved on to the NFL, the Irish coaching staff has once again switched Davis’ position, pushing him to compete at cornerback due to his speed and quickness and athleticism, hoping he can help add depth there after the departure of All-American Julian Love.

Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago

“Everything Has Changed” - Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran

The poor dude keeps having everything changed on him every off-season. This feels right.

Hey Dog HEY!

Doing our best to make sure you know which one of man’s best friends match each Notre Dame player.

Jack Russell Terrier

This seemed like a pretty solid fit. Jack Russell Terriers are small, quick, active dogs that, according to Wikipedia, have “gone through several changes over the years, corresponding to different use and breed standards set by kennel clubs.”

Heck, that sounds a lot like Avery Davis — a diminutive, agile, athletic guy who’s had to go through several changes over the years due to standards set by an overarching governing body (the ND football coaching staff).

Uggie Visits The Empire State Building Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images

2019 Outlook

It remains to be seen if Davis will even garner meaningful playing time at his brand new position, but the guy clearly has the athleticism and talent to make the coaches want to keep trying him in different roles because they think they can use him somewhere.

If, God forbid (*Pat knocks on all the wood around him*), Troy Pride or Houston Griffith or one or two other guys go down with injury, we might see a situation where Davis is forced into the limelight. Let’s hope one off-season of coaching and his natural talent are enough to allow him to contribute, if that’s the case.

However, what’s more likely is Davis sees some spot work here and there, picks up some experience in blowouts, maybe contributes some on special teams, and then as a senior corner potentially has developed enough to earn a bit of real playing time as a solid DB off the bench.

YouTube Hot Fire

Davis doesn’t have many ND highlights to watch, but let’s revisit his high school highlight reel and remind ourselves why Davis was regarded as such a playmaker when he enrolled at ND back in 2017.