Earlier in the evening on January 9, 2012, came the initial word that the projected NFL draft position had been released to Knile Davis for his consideration. College players who continue to have eligibility have until January 15, 2012, in order to declare their eligibility for the NFL Draft. Although the tweet came from another person, Knile Davis, who goes by @Boobie_Knile retweeted the statement regarding his projected draft position.
About 20 minutes later, Michael Smith, former Razorback running back who has generally been in the media since taking Renee Gork’s place, tweeted that Knile Davis was staying at the University of Arkansas because of his projected draft position. Knile Davis confirmed Michael Smith’s statement through re-tweeting the message as his own.
The committee of running backs in 2010 lead by Davis in 2010 rushed for 1,935 yards (4.6 yards per carry) while in 2011, Dennis Johnson, Broderick Green, Ronnie Wingo, and occasionally Joe Adams and D’Anthony Curtis combined for 1,786 yards (4.3 yards per carry). The biggest difference in the two seasons is that Knile Davis by himself netted 1,322 yards which almost doubles Dennis Johnson, the Hogs’ leading rusher in 2011. Davis achieved that production although averaging a little more than 7 carries per game for the first 6 games of 2010.
Although Arkansas’ players will make their own individual decisions as to what is best for them in terms of declaring for the NFL Draft, hopefully, Knile Davis’ decision will persuade others to remain at the University of Arkansas for another year. The decision can make sense for Davis and others. The NFL Players’ collective bargaining agreement has a more structured and orderly way of paying new NFL draftees based upon draft position, the difference in money between a second or third round pick and a first round pick could easily mean more money to Knile Davis if that’s the way it works out. Details of the Rookie Compensation under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining agreement may be found here for those who are interested.