Davis knew UK was ‘place to be’
Published 10:47 am Friday, August 18, 2023
BY KEITH TAYLOR
Ray Davis will be counted on to ease the departure of Chris Rodriguez in the Kentucky backfield this season.
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Davis brings experience following a stellar career at Vanderbilt. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, but added starting over despite his status as a proven, veteran collegiate running back, he has plenty of room to grow.
“We’re trying to get better at the things I need to get better at and it’s a day-by-day process,” Davis said. “You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s going it’s going to take some time. But I can assure you that when that day comes, and when the things that we need to fix get fixed, you know, it could be a really good, bright season.”
Along with his experience, Davis will be counted on to provide leadership for the Wildcats and added the title as a veteran leader didn’t come easy.
“I had to earn that, though. I had to earn that when I came in. I didn’t just assume that I was going to be a leader,” he said. “I just didn’t take that position. You know, I had to learn and build trust from the guys around me. It started with my group first in the running back. I want to make sure I built the trust with them and they understood that I was I was here for those guys, no matter, you know, whether it’s competition or not. They need our help, they need answers, anything like that. I wanted to be there for them.”
As for knowing what to expect in the Southeastern Conference, Davis said it won’t be an issue and hasn’t given much thought into it since being with the Wildcats.
“I played against them (Kentucky) but you know at the end of the day you don’t know what you’ll get on the other side of the other side of the ball,” he said. “You may you may you may get some some really good defenses, you may get some really good defensive schemes. Just going out there and just preparing to play and how the coaches prepare is going to be the best (way to prepare).”
Another transfer, quarterback Devin Leary, also has been impressive since his arrival and Davis is looking forward to being a part of the quick-fix offense. Davis said Leary is a natural leader.
“Devin stepped up right when he got here,” he said. “Me and Devin came in together, and he kind of hit the ground running. You know, it was in the playbook. He was in the film room. He was getting to learn the guys. He was spending time each and everybody just learning them.
“I think Devin is a great leader. I think Devin is going to do tremendous things for this program for us as a team and just him as an individual. He’s he’s a guy that a lot of guys want to be around. They can learn from him on and off the field.”
When Davis made his visit to Lexington before making a final decision on his future, the opportunity to develop as a player was a factor in his decision.
“I knew that if I wanted to become a better player, but also just elevate my game as a person, you know, as a young man,” he said. “This was the place to be.”