Felton Davis has career day in 17-10 win over Iowa
Entering the 2017 season, wide receiver Felton Davis III played a minimal role in the Spartans’ offense in his first two seasons in East Lansing.
After several key departures over the past two seasons at the wideout position, Davis finally saw his chance to step up.
This season, the junior from Richmond, Virginia, is one of three starters on a team that relies upon its youth.
Prior to MSU opening up conference play Saturday, Davis had recorded four catches in each of the Spartans’ first three games for a total of 142 yards and two touchdowns.
On Saturday, quarterback Brian Lewerke found Davis early and often, connecting with Davis four times for 67 yards on the opening drive of the game, including a 22-yard touchdown pass.
“I think Felton did a great job of getting off the (defensive backs),” Lewerke said. “He got open. It was easy to get him the ball. I had trust in him every time I had thrown the ball. … I was glad to see him make plays.”
Davis finished the game with career-highs in both receptions (9) and receiving yards (114) and tied his career high in touchdowns with two.
“Early in the game, me and Brian were connecting, and I had let him know that he can have confidence in me; when he put the ball in there, I’m down with it no matter what it is,” Davis said. “So, just felt a lot of confidence today.”
Co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner said Davis’ strong performance in the opening drive was a result of Lewerke making good reads.
“We try to mix it up a little bit early in the game, and it helped us out,” Warner said. “But those first few passes that went to Felton weren’t necessarily all planned that way. We have early calls that we go to and just sort of jumped around a little bit and ended up going his way a couple times. But that’s basically Brian making good reads. Those weren’t all directed to go at Felton, and they ended up going there at the end, because Brian did a good job going through his read progression.”
After getting just two starts in 2016, the 6-foot-4 receiver has started in all four of the Spartans’ games this season.
Davis now has 21 catches this season, which is a career high, breaking last season’s record of 12.
“I feel like every time we step on the field as a whole, we got something to something prove,” Davis said. “And me personally, I know my first two years didn’t really go exactly how I wanted them to, but I learned from (former Spartan wide receivers Aaron Burbridge) and R.J. (Shelton), and I sat there with them and I watched them make plays, and I know I got the same ability they got to make plays, so I got confidence in myself.”
Alongside Davis, true freshmen Laress Nelson, Cody White and Cam Chambers each had one reception in the win, continuing what has been an impressive showing by MSU’s youth this season.
“We have a young football team,” head coach Mark Dantonio said. “You’re going to see guys just like Felton have a big game coming out. You’re seeing some other guys have those types of games. We got to put it all together as we continue on.”