New Auburn Receiver Showing Promise

Marcus Davis makes his first college catch.

Marcus Davis has worked his way into the playing rotation as a freshman wide receiver.

Auburn, Ala.--At this time last year Marcus Davis was the guy doing the passing instead of the catching, but as the Tigers head into SEC football play the freshman has earned respect from Auburn's coaching staff with his performance as a receiver.

On Saturday night vs. Arkansas State the rookie's first collegiate catch was a memorable one. With the Tigers needing to convert a third down and 16 call after a touchdown run by Tre Mason was called back due to a holding penalty, quarterback Nick Marshall saw Davis breaking open in the end zone.

"I knew I was one of the two primary receivers so I just ran my route and the pass was right on time," Davis said of his team's first touchdown reception of the young season. It was also the first college catch for Davis.

"It was a great feeling," said Davis, who the Tigers signed out of American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Fla. "It has been a lot of fun to play early. It just shows that hard work pays off. I have worked hard to do the little things right to please the coaches."

Marcus Davis is a player the Tigers decided to recruit after the coaching staff change because he is considered a good fit for Gus Malzahn's offense.

The freshman's work ethic, quickness and good hands combined to put him into the playing rotation immediately despite a lack of experience as a receiver. However, Davis said his extensive playing time as a high school quarterback has made the transition easier.

"That has helped me big-time being able to read coverages when I am running routes," he said.

The 18-yard touchdown catch by Davis put the Tigers up 7-0 and they never trailed as they improved to 2-0 with a 38-9 victory over Arkansas State.

Davis said he believes the Tigers made strides on offense from game one to game two. "Getting better each and every week is a big thing for us in practice," he said. "I felt like we came out focused against Arkansas State and executed better."

Davis and the Tigers will try to continue the trend this week when they kick off at 6 p.m. CDT on Saturday vs. Mississippi State in the conference opener for both teams. "I am looking forward to it," the freshman said. "I am just trying to concentrate on one game at a time and going out there and play football the way I know how to do it."

According to another newcomer on the team, Marshall, the freshman making a touchdown catch was no surprise. "He is doing well," the quarterback said.

Marshall pointed out the Tigers had the right play at the right time to beat Arkansas State's coverage on the third down and long play on the touchdown pass to Davis. "I threw the ball in the seam and he made a great catch," Marshall said. "We were able to just get it rolling from there."

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