Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Anthony Davis, eh?

Can you believe that in over 300 posts on a blog called Badgercentric there has not been one mention yet of Anthony Davis? The Anthony Davis who is Wisconsin's second all-time leading rusher, with 4,676 yards and 42 touchdowns? Who was just incredible his first two seasons, before injuries derailed his college career?

Well, here's the first. Was reading a pretty good Mike Lucas story today on Tyler Donovan's emotions during the NFL Draft, and what his future in the CFL looks like. It's funny, because several times during the draft Saturday I made a remark to Polzin like "Hey Jimmy, the Ravens just took Donovan, time to get to work." Interesting to see that NFL teams actually were talking to Tyler, although it would probably have just been for tryouts.

Anyway, back to Davis. According to Lucas's story, Davis played the last couple years for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before being traded to the Toronto Argonauts in December. Unfortunately, the Argos' website indicates AD was released three weeks ago.

Davis was on my mind last fall when we were debating here how the Badgers' current running back depth chart should shape up. Some people indicated that they wouldn't be disappointed if P.J. Hill moved on, since Zach Brown, Lance Smith and John Clay could fill in just fine. I disagree. When you find a superstar back - like Davis was his first two seasons - the dropoff to guys who are just pretty good can change a season.

When Davis got hurt in 2003 and 2004, Badger fans probably thought it would be no big deal since Dwayne Smith and Booker Stanley were waiting in the wings. They proved capable, but the offense bogged down at times. It wasn't until Brian Calhoun came in the next season that the offense again had a dynamic threat out of the backfield, and that side of the ball was explosive for the Badgers.

My point is, when you have a guy who's a true game-changer right off the bat, you ride him as long as he can, because the guys behind him might not necessarily be better.