The first highlight of Julius Davis’s junior Hudl film above should be viewed as an eye-opener.
On a third down, the 2019 running back from Menomonee Falls, Wis., took a handoff and sprinted to around the 40-yard line, where he hurdled over a defender into a nearly 360-degree spin. Keeping his balance, he evaded would-be tacklers before using his speed to break away for a huge touchdown.
“In the moment, there wasn’t really much going through my head other than, ‘score,’” Davis told B5Q late last month. “I knew there was a huge hole, my linemen opened up a huge hole for me, and I just hit that hole as fast as I can and then, out of nowhere, I saw a person dive for my feet, so my reaction was, ‘Oh, I got to hurdle him.’
“Then, I kind of got bumped a little bit, so I ended up spinning while I was in the air. After I landed, I was stumbling a little bit. I regained my balance, and all I saw was green. I was like, ‘Oh, I got this, I need to go,’ so I kept running. I felt other people touching me, so I was like, ‘Oh, I got to get this, like, oh my God, so I keep going and going, and I eventually scored.”
That play could be described as a microcosm of Davis’s potential at Wisconsin, as the in-state standout showcases a blend of power, acceleration, and speed in his game.
The power is seen in his runs and also the collisions with opposing players, along with a couple of stiff arms to create separation. Based on his film, he accelerates well through the hole and has the speed to burst past prep defenders and not be run down.
Not surprisingly, Davis described his running style as “very physical.” He plans on adding more to his game.
“I love contact,” Davis said. “My coaches try to tell me you don’t need to take on six guys at one time, but I guess that’s why I love this sport, because I can get in as much contact as I want, and it’s legal. I’m going to work on trying to put more moves on people because not everyone is going to be smaller than me. There’s always going to be someone bigger, so I’m going to have to work on making them miss, but I think I’d overall be a very physical running back.”
Also not surprising are the players Davis tries to emulate.
Davis committed to Wisconsin back in November, but other Power Five programs have taken notice of the prep standout. LSU, USC, and Notre Dame have all offered since early February. Davis nonetheless visited Madison again on Saturday.
According to WisSports.net, Davis rushed for 1,762 yards on 257 carries (6.9 yards per attempt) with 17 touchdowns in his junior campaign.
Those Hudl highlights seen above mostly show him in the backfield, but when asked how he is currently utilized in the offensive system for Menomonee Falls, it appears the back is in other ways as well.
“They want to put me wherever they can,” Davis said. “We have a couple of Wildcat formations, we really didn’t run it, but we had Wildcat because I played quarterback in my younger days. We had Wildcat, they put me out in the slot, put me at fullback. Anywhere, really, they needed me, I’d go. I was hoping to play defense, but we have enough defensive people. Really if need be, if we have to pass, they’ll put me out in the slot and throw a deep ball to me. Really, it’s situational.”
It appears Wisconsin wants Davis—who runs track and was hoping to attend the Nike Opening Regional as well as the Rivals adizero Combine in Ohio in early May—to stay in the backfield.
“They see me as a running back right now,” Davis said last month. “That’s currently what they want me to play. They want me to just keep working hard and keep putting in work in the offseason and have another season at running back.”