Article at SB Nation HustleBelt: The senior from Wheaton, Illinois is turning heads – and for good reason.
Corey Davis is the best wide receiver to ever put on a uniform for the Western Michigan football program, and I say that confidently being both aware of Greg Jennings’ and Jamarko Simmons’ careers and having witnessed the great, insane, play making machine that was Jordan White. I also believe that when it’s all said and done, that Davis will be remembered as the best to play his position in the history of the Mid American Conference, and his numbers can back that up. Furthermore, Davis just might be the best wide receiver in all of college football right now.
Fortunately, you don’t have to just take my word for it. In an article published Wednesday at Sports Illustrated, it was said of Davis that he “could wind up as the top prospect at his position in the 2017 draft,” even drawing comparisons to the Chicago Bears’ Alshon Jeffery. With the First Pick, of the Fansided Network, even projects Davis as an early first round pick in the NFL Draft next April, citing him as a player that can “take the top off a defense.” Of course, projecting so far in the future that champions in all four major sports leagues will have been crowned, a new president will have been elected, and an entire March Madness tournament will have played out before anyone gets drafted is inherently silly, but the idea that Davis could be the first wide receiver off the board next year is just the opposite.
Davis appeared near the top nationally in all major statistical receiving categories in 2015. He finished in the top 15 for receptions with 89 and finished in the top five in receiving yards, which comes out to around 16 yards per catch. Of the four players that finished ahead of Davis for receiving yards in the FBS a year ago, two have since exhausted their NCAA eligibility, leaving the door wide open for the senior from Wheaton, Illinois to emerge as of the nation’s most prolific receivers in 2016. Davis stands at 6’3″ tall and 205 pounds, giving him tremendous size when compared to his other pass catching contemporaries. He was the largest receiver in the top five for receiving and was the biggest wide out not named Gehrig Dieter or JuJu Smith-Schuster to finish in the top 15 in the FBS for receptions. The only knock one might be able to find on Davis is that he plays in the MAC, a conference better known for undersized late round draft picks turned superstars than prototypical NFL wide outs, and where domination in conference play is viewed as less than when compared to neighboring “power” conferences.
Davis is not your average MAC standout though, and he’s not dominating the conference like anyone else before him. He is putting up career numbers that, come January, could be the likes the conference has ever seen. He’s not only the best receiver currently residing in the MAC, he might well be the best to play in it ever.
410 more yards places Davis atop the MAC record books for receiving. With 15 more touchdowns – which he accomplished as a sophomore in 2014 – he surpasses Darius Watts’ conference leading mark for scoring. If number 84 hauls in 72 more passes for Western Michigan this season, he will own the MAC record in receptions for a career. The good news for Davis on that front is he’s increased his reception total by exactly 11 in each year at WMU, putting him on pace for 100 catches in 2016, and more importantly, a comfortable hold on the all-time lead. When Corey Davis plays his final down in a Bronco uniform, he likely leaves a legacy as not just the greatest receiver in WMU’s long history, but in the MAC’s history as well. So far, it looks like the decision to return for a fourth year could prove beneficial – and extremely lucrative – for the Bronco superstar.
2016 has a lot in store for the WMU football program as a whole, and the rise of Corey Davis from a two star recruit out of Illinois to 1,227 yards away from the NCAA record in career receiving yards is the most compelling story line of them all. It will be fun watching Davis transition from being well known in MAC circles to a name that climbs every NFL team’s draft board as springtime approaches once more.