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.