For the young wide receiver out of Wheaton, maybe his initials were meant as a forecast. After all, Titus Davis always has had a thirst for the goal line. And of the school-record 37 touchdowns he scored at Central Michigan, it was the 37th that instantly climbed to No. 1 on his list of most memorable. Officially, that touchdown appeared in the final box score of last season’s Bahamas Bowl as follows: “Titus Davis 15-yard pass from Cooper Rush. But it was oh-so-much more complicated. Including center Nick Beamish and Rush, the quarterback, Davis was the sixth Chippewa to touch the ball during an absurd sequence, taking the third lateral on the final play of regulation and needing to make a fierce diagonal sprint away from three Western Kentucky defenders to reach the front right pylon and complete the 75-yard score.
This is what Davis prides himself on — being in position to make the big play, seeking out the end zone in whatever way possible. And this is what he has been trying to sell to NFL teams the last 31/2 months as he readied for next week’s draft. Thinking about that final score in Nassau, Davis still feels the adrenaline surge. “They were gaining on me,” he said. “As fast as it all was, the whole thing was like slow motion.” Davis also recalls the strange sense of confidence he felt in the huddle moments earlier — even with his team down seven points on its 25-yard line and 1 second left.
“I felt like it was going to end on a good note,” said Davis, who played at Wheaton Warrenville South. “I have no idea why. There was just a confidence.” With Davis scoring his fourth touchdown of the afternoon, Central Michigan had stormed from 35 points down in the fourth quarter to put itself in position to win. The Chippewas failed to convert a two-point try and lost 49-48. “But still,” Davis said, “we fought to the end and just kept pushing.” That’s a quality Davis hopes to carry forward. In some ways, in a year when the draft class of receivers is being hailed as possibly the best of all time, Davis blends in as just another face in the crowd, a likely third-day pick who will have to claw to make a roster.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock sees Davis coming off the board no earlier than Round 5 and notes concerns about his athleticism and an ordinary 4.51-second time in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. Still, there are skills to work with. “He catches the ball extremely well,” Mayock said. “He can play inside and outside.”
And once Davis gets his opportunity to contribute, he believes he can carve out a niche. Those 37 college touchdowns weren’t by accident. Nor were his 204 catches, production stemming from his detailed route running and the perfectionist practice he put in the last three years with Central Michigan receivers coach Mose Rison. Without elite speed or dazzling athleticism, the 6-foot-1, 196-pound Davis prides himself on precision and savvy. “You work to find your edge,” said Davis, who said he would rehearse routes as he walked around campus — a jab step, a pivot, a change of direction. “People mock me, like, ‘Man, what are you doing?’ It’s just what I do. Those steps are the most important thing to getting open and creating space. It’s a little thing, but I know it helps with muscle memory.” Davis is curious as to where he’ll end up, and he has played through a few dozen hypotheticals since January. “(But) more often than not,” he said, “you just wind up back in a place where you’re stressed. So I’ve learned to relax, pray and wait to see where I’ll be next.” Once again, he’s confident things will end well.
By Dan Wiederer – Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/ct-titus-davis-nfl-draft-spt-0424-20150423-story.html