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Good article on Enrique Davis.. Ole Miss could surprise this year.

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Back's upside limitless in new Ole Miss offense

Davis, subject of fierce recruiting battle, has size, speed that sets him apart.

OXFORD Prized running back recruit Enrique Davis had been on campus all of a few hours last week when he announced to Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt that he was going to work out.

But before he could run off, Nutt stopped him and asked a few questions: Have you taken a physical? Do you know where your locker is? Better yet, do you even know where the weight room is?

The answer from Davis to all three questions was no. That's when Nutt told the freshman to take a seat and settle down for a few minutes.

"I explained to him that you've got to be patient,'" Nutt said. "Everything in this is a process - it's baby steps. We'll teach you one thing at a time. There's going to be a lot to learn."

But if Davis proves to be a quick study, Nutt says there's no doubt the 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back could be a large part of the Rebels' backfield by the season's opening game on Aug. 30 against Memphis.

"He's going to get every opportunity," Nutt said. "I have high expectations and he does too."

Landing Davis was the crowning glory of Nutt's first Ole Miss recruiting class after a fierce recruiting battle with Auburn, Tennessee and Oregon. The 19-year-old from Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) was rated as the nation's No. 1 prep school recruit by Rivals.com.

His coach at Hargrave, Robert Prunty, said the Rebels are getting a legitimate star in Davis.

"I've had 30 or 35 Division I guys come through Hargrave and I'm not sure anyone is as ready for the big time as Davis," Prunty said. "He can run over you. He can run past you. He hangs on to the football. What else could you want?"

For now, the coaches just want Davis to familiarize himself with his surroundings and get to know his teammates and the campus as he begins summer school next week. He isn't allowed to do media interviews as Nutt tries to let the freshman lead a low-key existence for the next four weeks.

Because once August hits, things are going to get a little crazy.

Davis is in a four-way battle for playing time in a backfield that includes junior Cordera Eason, who started in the spring, sophomore Derrick Davis and incoming freshman Brandon Bolden.

Though the pair of freshmen, Enrique Davis and Bolden, might come into the competition with a disadvantage because of their inexperience, new offensive coordinator Kent Austin doesn't plan on cutting back the playbook.

"Absolutely not," Austin said. "We'll throw it all out there for them and see how much they can grasp. If we need to scale it back later, then so be it, but you have to challenge the freshmen from the first day."

Austin, who's cerebral approach to the game has been evident from the first day he stepped on campus, said expectations were far down the list of things Davis needed to be concerned about this fall.

"Those things are internal and not relevant to what we're trying to accomplish," Austin said. "The external challenge of beating the other team is hard enough. We don't need to be complicating the process."

But even if the expectations aren't talked about between coach and player, they're ever-present. And Nutt won't shy away from saying Davis is a potential superstar.

"He looks the part - every bit of it," Nutt said. "It points to him being able to help us very soon."


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