The end of an autumn football season brings a flurry of career prospects for NCAA players as they grapple with the decision to remain in school or pursue an NFL career.
Wide receiver Mike Davis’ indecisiveness could best be summarized with The Clash’s “Should I stay or should I go?” lyric.
In the span of one week, reports circled through the news and social media, claiming the Dallas native was staying, then he was going, then he was unsure and finally, that he was staying.
Davis shined this year with the most receiving yards, receptions, receiving touchdowns and yards per catch on the team. He played in all 12 games and started 10 of them.
Those numbers left Davis wondering if it was time to pack his bags and head for the NFL, where some experts projected him to be a third-round draft pick.
What followed was a spree of social media-induced confusion. Davis tweeted that he would remain at Texas, but then it was rumored he would enter the draft.
ESPN’s Joe Schad then announced that Davis was unsure about his decision to end his collegiate career, but Davis again changed course and declared his intent to stay after discussing it with coaches and family.
“I need to see the big picture and see what I can be at Texas and in the Big 12,” he said. “I want to maximize my stats and go to the BCS.”
For a team that often struggled to perform offensively, Davis’ return is a sigh of relief. He was often quarterback David Ash’s go-to guy, and his quickness allowed him to dart past opponents on the field. Davis would have been a weighty loss for the Longhorns, forcing younger receivers Jaxon Shipley, Kendall Sanders, Marcus Johnson and Cayleb Jones to step up. While Shipley started nine times in his sophomore season, Sanders, Johnson and Jones saw relatively little playing time. Thus, Davis’ departure would have left a gaping hole and the need for increasingly fervent recruiting for wide receivers.
Just after Davis’s announcement, defensive tackle Brandon Moore declared he would enter the draft.
The decision surprised many who weren’t used to hearing Moore’s name dropped in play-by-plays. But But Moore, who played one year at Texas after two at East Mississippi Community College and one at Alabama, posted solid stats. He played in 11 games and started four, ranking fourth on the team in tackles for loss and tied for third in quarterback pressures.
While his exit from the team comes after the worst defensive season in school history, the depth of Moore’s position means his departure is less concerning than that of someone like Davis. All the others in the team’s five-man rotation are set to return.
But it does mean younger players will be dealt more responsibility in filling Moore’s place, particularly true freshman Malcolm Brown.
For Davis, the decision to stay came down to BCS hopes and Biletnikoff Award aspirations. For Moore, the decision to go simply came down to the pursuit of a dream.
“I really appreciate the opportunity I had to play for the Longhorns, but my lifelong dream has been to play in the NFL and to have a chance to support my family,” Moore said.
Published on January 16, 2013 as "Davis decides to stay, Moore leaves for draft".