NEW ORLEANS, LA - FILE: Knile Davis #7 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino announced on August 12, 2011 that Knile Davis of the Arkansas Razorbacks is expected to miss the season because of ankle injury. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Arkansas' Knile Davis Finally Cleared For Contact

Arkansas' Knile Davis is raring to get back to live action after missing 2011 due to injury.

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11 Total Updates since August 11, 2011
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Knile Davis Will Return To Arkansas, Postponing Jump To The NFL

Arkansas running back Knile Davis has decided to stay in school at least one more year, postponing his inevitable foray into the NFL draft. He didn't play in a single game this past season after breaking his left ankle during a scrimmage last August, but as a sophomore in 2010 he rushed for 1,322 yards, best among all SEC running backs.

"I have made the decision to return to the University of Arkansas for the 2012 season as I am determined to help this program accomplish the goals we have set in place," Davis said in a statement released by Arkansas' athletic department. "My injury was unfortunate, but I feel I have worked extremely hard for the opportunity to lead the Razorbacks on the field. Through my setback last season, I remained positive and was committed to persevering and I plan to apply those principles to this year's team.

"I believe Coach (Bobby) Petrino is the best coach in America, and he has put this program back on the national stage. He has instilled in everyone the expectation to be great and that we will win championships. ... Also, our fans make playing for the Razorbacks a great experience. I can't wait for another season with them and my teammates in 2012."

Even without Davis, the Razorbacks finished 11-2, ranking No. 5 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. Davis admitted earlier this month that he submitted paperwork to the NFL's draft advisory board to learn where he stands in the eyes of the league's decision-makers and was thinking about making the jump.

"I would love to come back and do what I didn't do this year, what I think I could have," Davis said at the time, according to ArkansasNews.com. "But at the same time, you know, a lot of different variables play a part in that and I have to take that under consideration."

It seems likely that Davis received feedback from the NFL between then and now, helping make his decision that much easier. If he can produce a season in 2012 like he did in 2010, it's possible he'll receive consideration as a first-round pick in 2013.

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Knile Davis Returns To Practice For Arkansas

Knile Davis may not be lost for the entire season after all. The Arkansas running back, who suffered a fractured ankle during a team scrimmage in August, practiced in pads on Tuesday, Razorback offensive coordinator Garrick McGee confirmed to ArkansasSports360.com

It's not yet known if Davis will see any action in this week's game against Mississippi State, but Davis revealed on Twitter that his recovery is going well:

Just wanna thank god for seconds chances... finally moving like i use to
Nov 14 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Davis, a preseason All-SEC second-team selection, recorded 204 carries for 1,322 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns in 2010, adding 19 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown through the air. He helped carry the Razorbacks to a 10-2 record and Sugar Bowl berth, ultimately falling to Ohio State. 

In his absence this season, Dennis Johnson (77 carries, 508 yards, three TDs) and Ronnie Wingo, Jr. (81 carries, 380 yards, three TDs) have shared most of the rushing duties. Arkansas is currently 9-1 (5-1 SEC).

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Knile Davis Injury: Arkansas Press Release Confirms Ankle Fracture

Arkansas has wasted no time in issuing a press release on the status of star running back Knile Davis, following a grisly injury in Thursday's practice. As reported late last night, the would-be Heisman contender will miss the entire 2011 season with a broken ankle: 

"I am extremely disappointed for Knile," UA head coach Bobby Petrino said. "He is a captain who was incredibly focused on the upcoming year. His leadership throughout the offseason was significant in the development of this team. Our athletic trainers and medical staff are the best in the country, and Knile's mental toughness will be an asset to him during the recovery process. I am fully confident in the mindset of our running back group and their ability to perform."

On that last point, Petrino is entirely accurate. With Ronnie Wingo and Dennis Johnson healthy in the stable, there's no reason to think the Razorbacks can't remain competitive even in the deep and dastardly SEC West. But for even non-Arkansan fans of the game, 2011 just lost some luster. 

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