BY HUDSON FRENCH | Ball State Sports Link
When Ball State offensive coordinator and running backs coach Kevin Lynch was coaching at the University of Indianapolis, he remembers Antwan Davis on the opposing sidelines.
The opposing end zone might be more appropriate.
Lynch recalls Davis torching his UIndy team for 84 yards and two touchdowns when Davis was a player at Lincoln University.
“His story is very unique, ” Lynch said. “I can tell you this, I recruited him coming out of high school when I was at Indianapolis. I remember him playing as a freshman against us.”
As fate would have it, Davis transferred to Ball State and started working in the weight room. Lynch also joined the Ball State coaching staff.
Having been the only one on Ball State’s coaching staff to see Davis in action, Lynch went to work. Davis earned a roster spot and the Cardinals’ offense has benefitted.
Davis played in 11 games with six starts in 2017 and then, when he finally felt his chance had arrived, he suffered a broken foot in the 2018 season opener. The injury ended his year with the Cardinals.
His return in 2019 was highlighted with two touchdowns and 86 yards against Fordham. This transcended into a 516-yard campaign, launching him to third on the team with 38 receptions. Davis also eclipsed 1,000 yards for his career.
With expectations soaring for Davis in 2020, and the experienced BSU offense back, the COVID-19 pandemic initially hushed the hype for MAC teams.
“I was obviously upset with the news,” Davis said. “I was looking to finish my senior season in the fall and have everything normal.”
Undeterred by what he might face, Davis says he leaned on his faith to help him through.
“I’d start praying,” Davis said. “Reading up on my Bible, my devotion books and just keeping the faith. Just knowing everything’s in perfect timing and no matter what, whatever I want to achieve and accomplish — and the same for the team — is going to happen. Even if it’s not on our time, we have to remember to be patient and it will all come to pass.”
Now back on the field and in search of a MAC Championship, Davis says the goal is to go undefeated and make it to Detroit. He believes this offense has a chance to reach new heights with the team’s wealth of returning experience, including quarterback Drew Plitt.
“We haven’t played football in so long,” Davis said. “We’re going to come out with a lot of energy. All of us have played, the young guys have had more time to study the playbook and work on our timing with Drew, too.”
Lynch believes Davis, his experience and his work ethic will prove effective in 2020.
“He’s just a worker and he’s going to make sure that he’s ready to go,” Lynch said. “He’s done a great job for us, and he’ll have a very good senior season.”
Ball State opens the delayed 2020 season Nov. 4 at Miami with a 7 p.m. kickoff on CBS Sports Network.