Reginald Davis' arrival in Lubbock was a huge excitement for fans and players of Red Raider football. Since his arrival he has been consistently inconsistent throughout his three years on field. His time has involved big catches, clutch performances, sitting the bench, and off-the-field issues. This coming season will be his last in a Red Raider uniform. In this article I will discuss Davis' development since his freshman year and what he has left to show us this coming season.
Recruited by former head coach Tommy Tuberville, Davis arrived in Lubbock in 2012. He attended Tenaha High School, which at the time was a small 1A school, in Tenaha, TX. In high school he was a "do-it-all" player for his team (as you would expect for a player of his caliber) scoring an eye-popping 35 touchdowns his senior season and leading his team to a state championship in 2011. He simply dominated the field mostly because of his superior athleticism compared to the competition. Most of his work was done on the ground as a duel-threat quarterback, but eventually he would develop into a solid receiver at 6'0 188 lbs. Following his senior season he was a consensus four-star prospect by all of the major recruiting sites (Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and MaxPreps) and also became a member of the ESPNU 150. He chose Texas Tech over the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, and TCU.
In 2012, Davis was assigned a redshirt and would compete on the scout team.
Reginald made his debut in 2013 as a redshirt freshman. Fans were anxious to finally get a peak at what he could do as a play-maker and he didn't disappoint at the start. He made his first appearance in the season opener against SMU (8/30). In this game he caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to give Tech a 25 point lead over the Mustangs. The future looked bright for the freshman as he caught yet another touchdown pass from freshman Davis Webb in his first home-game against Stephen F. Austin (9/7) making him the first Red Raider to have two receiving touchdowns in his first two games since Michael Crabtree in 2007. He would be relatively quiet for the remainder of the regular season as he made a few catches here and there. His name would pop up again in the 2013 Holiday Bowl against #14 Arizona State, where he had one of his best performances to date. Right after the Sun Devils scored to make it a one possession game at 27-20, Davis would return the kickoff all the way to the end-zone for 90 yards to give Tech a 14 point lead at a crucial point in the game See Here. He would also catch a 33-yard pass from Davis Webb on a big 3rd and 20 down. Tech would eventually score on that drive as well. Davis' big game earned him a spot in the ESPN Big 12 All-Bowl Team.
In 2014, Davis had a lot of hype built up after his big finale game against ASU. Unfortunately he didn't necessarily live up to the potential around him. Davis started out hot as he hauled in two touchdowns in the first two games of the season for back-to-back years. Overall, he had a mediocre year with 29 receptions, 318 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Those stats are better than what he produced his freshman year, but they weren't much better. His presence wasn't really involved in any game besides his big game against Oklahoma State (9/25) where he produced career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns with six catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns. His one other touchdown came against Arkansas (9/13). Reginald was inconsistent all year long with most of his stats being compiled in one or two games. He was an under performer on a team that was ultimately a letdown that year with a 4-8 record.
Following the 2014 season Davis was arrested for possession of marijuana. The arrest took place in May of 2015 before the upcoming football season. He was disciplined, however, there was no severe punishment for his actions. His punishment resulted in him missing the first half of the opening game against Sam Houston State.
Last season as a redshirt Junior, Davis played in all 13 games, starting in 7 of them. Once again he improved his numbers from the previous season with 38 receptions for 536 yards and eight touchdowns, but overall was inconsistent throughout the year. He had a huge game early in the season on the road against Arkansans where he had a career best game with five catches, for 115 yards, and two touchdowns. One of his touchdown receptions came from the arm of Jakeem Grant on a 75-yard option-pass play. See Here. His game at Arkansas was one to remember as he showed up when the team needed him to. After this game bigger things were expected of the junior but, he would then disappear for the majority of the season showing up at random moments, but never giving the opponents anything to worry about on a consistent basis.
This leads to this coming season. So far after three years he has produced just over a 1,000 yards of offense with 16 touchdowns. Overall an underwhelming career so far for the redshirt senior. He has only been relevant in a few big games throughout his career and has not lived up to the hype he had coming into Lubbock as a freshman. Thankfully he has one more year as a Red Raider to leave a better legacy than "the player that never was". The physical tools are there as he has a solid pair of hands, good size, and good speed. Most importantly he has the offensive tools around him to produce big numbers. With the departure of Jakeem Grant someone needs to step up in the receiving corps and there is no reason this can't be Reginald. He is the veteran among a very talented group of receivers that features several play-makers. Davis has an opportunity to prove his abilities and I truly believe he will make an impact this coming season for Tech. He knows he hasn't produced as much as he should've by this point in his career and I know he wants to leave a good impression. For the first time there isn't much talk about how this guy needs to produce and that is why I think the Reginald Davis we thought would be great will finally show up for the Red Raiders. We're ready for RD3!
The best surprises are the ones we don't see coming.