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Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Davis Embodies Irish's message

September 14, 2019

At the team’s Mass Saturday, well before Notre Dame would take the field inside its home stadium for the first time in 10 months, Fighting Irish players heard about the virtues of selflessness and humility.

Hours later, as the No. 7 Irish were polishing off New Mexico 66-14, perhaps one player more than any other embodied the message: Avery Davis.

The former Under Armour All-American.

The former four-star prospect.

The quarterback-turned-running-back-turned-defensive back.

Last week, Davis again was transitioned from defense back to offense.

At running back. Or wide receiver.

Wherever, coach Brian Kelly had said earlier in the week, Davis just wanted a chance to contribute and play.

On Saturday, his third season in the program, Davis took a shovel toss inches from the hands of quarterback Ian Book and galloped 59 yards into the end zone.

Into the boxscore.

Into the season’s far-from-completed record book.

Into contributing, at long last.

Into the image that popped into the mind of similarly tested and resilient defensive back Shaun Crawford postgame.

“It was like a key point in our mass was humility. And I just think players like Avery show that,” said Crawford, who in the rout of the Lobos notched his first interception in two years after injury robbed him of the 2018 season. “Whether it be on the field or off the field. Definitely on the field, just because he’s a true team player. He came in as a quarterback, Elite 11 quarterback and probably didn’t think he was going to be switching positions throughout his career here.

“So for him to just take that and just go with it and help the team out, is really big props for him.”

Davis had just the one catch that catapulted Notre Dame to a 21-0 lead as part of a 31-point second quarter.

Still, Davis’ lone touch resonated with those with whom he shares a locker room.

“I thought Avery Davis's electric run, who we incidentally gave the game ball to, for him being so humble a player and unselfish,” said coach Brian Kelly, “to flip from quarterback to running back to defense and back to the offensive side of the ball and come up big with an electric run that really got
the entire team and the stadium into it.”

Quarterback Ian Book, a team captain quick to shoulder blame and disperse praise, was quick to tout Davis’ example.

“Someone, you might switch their position, you might think it's going to be a bigger issue than it was with him,” Book said. “Shows the type of player he is and where he's at mentally and he's ready to go. Nothing better than to see him get that run tonight. I'm excited for him and I know he was, too.
“I like to say he belongs on offense.”

Davis was part of newcomers’ day for the Irish, who saw Davis, Javon McKinley (twice), C’Bo Flemister, Braden Lenzy and budding defensive sensation Kyle Hamilton all score their first career touchdowns.

“To see Javon ready when his name was called and same with Avery, going from offense to defense back to offense, winning the game ball tonight, there's nothing better than that,” Book said. “Super happy for those guys. I feel like the chemistry with all those guys, we've been working since January. It's there and happy to have all of them on the offensive side and I know it's just going to get better from here.”

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