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Knile Davis responds to SN article on players quitting

Knile Davis, Senquez Golson AP

Three former Arkansas coaches – interim coach John L. Smith, defensive coordinator Paul Haynes and offensive coordinator Paul Petrino – told the Sporting News recently that they felt some Arkansas players quit on the team during 2012’s disastrous 4-8 season. The comments mirrored what Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson said about his team early in the season following a 52-0 loss to Alabama, in which Wilson did not play because of a concussion.

No one from Arkansas — players nor athletic director Jeff Long — commented for the story. But one former player, running back Knile Davis, has now responded to it via his Twitter account.

Here’s what Davis had to say (via ArkansasNews.com):

“The same guys who sacrificed their time and freedom. The same guys who gave their blood sweat and tears for that hog on the side of that helmet. The same guys who skipped an opportunity of a life time by not entering the draft and came back knowing the risk. The same guys that battled to get a win in the liberty bowl in the freezing cold. The same guys that battled to get the schools first BCS birth in the Sugar Bowl. The same guys that fought and won the Cotton Bowl. These same guys quit on one of the most anticipated seasons in Arkansas history?! I don’t think so. Not these guys. Not my guys. #HAWG 4 LIFE”

The SN piece did not name specific players who “quit.” Also, it would be incorrect to assume all players did (not that the ex-coaches are assuming that). And there were injuries. Lots of ‘em. Davis missed a couple of games with a hamstring injury; tight end Chris Gragg missed more than half the year with a leg injury; and linebackers Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith had season-ending injuries.

This has amounted to a he said/he said story. Did Arkansas look defeated this past season? At times, absolutely. Was that the only issue Arkansas had in 2012? No way. The 10-month contract for Smith turned out to be a disaster, and Smith was never the guy the Razorbacks needed to maintain the success built by Bobby Petrino.

Say what you will about Petrino — I have numerous times — but one thing he does successfully is get his players to perform with an edge. An edge based on fear. That edge was noticeably absent last season.

So, too, was good coaching. That deserves blame as well. The Razorbacks’ pass defense was among the worst in college football and opposing teams were scoring an average of 30 points a game. And if we’re on the topic of quitting, Smith looked like he had mailed it in a season-ending loss to LSU.

The former coaches claiming certain players quit on the team only scratches the surface of what went wrong for Arkansas in 2012, even though it scratches the right spot. That scratch has removed the scab from the wound of what could have been for the Razorbacks.

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12 Responses to “Knile Davis responds to SN article on players quitting”
  1. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 31, 2013 4:58 PM

    none of those achievements he lists happened this year. you better just say everyone quit trying otherwise it looks like when you’re trying and you’re just failing. and bad.

  2. badintent says: Jan 31, 2013 6:11 PM

    It is the Banana |Republic of Arkansas, land of the wild hog where men are men and hogs are nervous ! and the Bubba Clinton. Lets go to a live interview with Gloria Flowers and Paula Jones. “We all enjoyed the threesomes with Hillary so much . we can not dey or confirm that Bubba didn’t inhale”But he did dodge the draft and brought sexual harrassment to the legal world thanks to his PC lawyer wife” “Backfired on him , Karma

  3. rolltide510 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:16 PM

    Knile Davis is my kind of guy. Hope he can stay healthy and make it in the league.

  4. jets12 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:19 PM

    @badintent you should really let go of your Bill Clinton fetish. Not sure what you are trying to say or accomplish but either way it’s not working. Not relevant or humorous.

  5. clemsonstillsucks says: Jan 31, 2013 8:35 PM

    @jets12

    Relevant – no. Humorous – yes. Accurate – you betcha ass.

  6. jets12 says: Jan 31, 2013 9:31 PM

    It never ceases to amaze me how people think that they know exactly how people they no nothing about really are. I’m sure @clemsonstillsucks none of the politicians you support or admire have nothing in their past that is questionable. We will never know the complete truth about Clinton’s private life nor should we. If you think that speculating on someone and making accusations is humorous then your as guilty as he is. And please tell me how you know it is accurate. As far as being a draft dodger, plenty of men from all walks of life and political persuasion avoided the military. I look forward to the day when all of the self righteous people who are perfect and without fault can lead all of us to their “perfect world.” I assume I’ll be waiting awhile.

  7. Deb says: Jan 31, 2013 9:36 PM

    It’s just fundamentally wrong to blame the Arkansas players for their season. The New Orleans Saints are professionals, paid millions of dollars, led by one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Look what happened when their coach disappeared–and they had more warning than these kids. Yeah, it makes a significant difference when your master motivator, the guy who taught you to believe in yourselves is no longer there.

    Good for Knile Davis! Excellent response to the team’s critics.

  8. badintent says: Feb 1, 2013 1:24 AM

    @jets12
    You’re right. I never should have mentioned the hogs. Not fair to them to be in the same trough as Bubba. Bubba didn’t dodge the draft for opposition to the Vietnam war, he just had the political connections to do so. My neighbor didn’t, so he came home dead. Bubba ‘s orders to kill thousands of innocent Serbs with cruise missiles makes him a war criminal like any other dictator. But yes, your Jets are Really more funny than my material. They just suck . Go Gmen

  9. vols84 says: Feb 1, 2013 4:55 AM

    I’m pretty sure the AD is to blame. After canning Petrino, who did he hire? Freaking John L Smith? Should have let Paul Petrino run the team or hire a former coach like Fulmer or Carr to oversee the team. Hogs had outstanding talent, but John L was a very bad choice.

  10. jets12 says: Feb 1, 2013 7:36 AM

    @badintent you are just a bitter fool. You can go on and on about being a draft dodger all you want but that is not something that is exclusive to Bill Clinton. War is not pretty and in a lot of cases it is unnecessary as in the conflicts George W got us into. How many have died in those unnecessarily? You can play partisan politics all you want to but you come off being a hypocrite and misinformed. But judging by your posts you are both.

  11. truetarheelfan says: Feb 1, 2013 8:04 AM

    I’m lost when did this piece become a political argument. The people are right. You do come off as bitter and at the very least misinformed. I suggest you make peace with your friend who died in the Vietnam War. Yes it was tragic but nothing can bring him back. Also have you ever heard judge not lest ye be judged. I believe this would apply to you sir. Because you seem to think that you know everything and you seem to want to be the judge jury and executioner. This is not the place nor the forum nor the time to become a political know it all. This is a football peace about Arkansas. Keep it that way.

  12. hoggette says: Feb 1, 2013 12:01 PM

    The thing that disturbs me the most about this article is why their opinion just now…..a week before NSD? Just leave Arkansas alone for a while and give us some peace and quiet for a while. It’s deserved.

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