NHS alumnus Davis makes most of rushing opportunities at Dixie State

Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 2, 2014

NATCHEZ — Joel Davis has gotten off to a good start at Dixie State University as a running back, but he said he has higher goals to reach as he prepares for his senior year.

Davis, a former Natchez High School and Copiah-Lincoln Community College standout, said he spent his junior year at Dixie State getting accustomed to several changes.

“I’ve adapted to the difference in the way the coaches coach and their game plans,” Davis said. “Also, the game is a little faster, and the players are a bit stronger.”

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Learning how to adjust to his coach’s style of play is easy, Davis said, but adapting to the altitude in St. George, Utah, is a different story.

“I would be in a lot better shape in Mississippi, because the air in Utah means it takes longer to catch your breath up there,” he said. “You’ll condition as hard as you can, but you’ll still get tired faster.”

Despite the many challenges he faced, Davis was still able to have a good first season at Dixie State. He rushed for 362 yards on 82 carries with two touchdowns, while tallying 177 receiving yards on 17 catches for three touchdowns.

Though his numbers look good, Davis said he expected more from himself.

“It didn’t go as I planned, but that is the way I set my standards, but it wasn’t bad either,” Davis said, “I’m used to having 1,000 yards, but when I got (to Dixie State), it was different. We did a lot more throwing than running, but the few plays they had for me, I made the best out of it.”

Davis said he tries to stay updated on how Natchez High football has been doing, but it’s difficult when his football season keeps him busy and exhausted.

“I kept up with (NHS receiver) Sidney Davis to see how he did and what he said about the games,” he said.

Davis is majoring in Computer Information Technology and plans to graduate in 2015, but he said he would still try to pursue a professional career in football if all goes well.

“It depends on how the season goes,” he said. “If I have a good season and I feel like I have enough stats, then I plan on keeping on with my football career, but if it doesn’t go that way, then I will focus on what I majored in.”