UNLV will be replacing a lot of talent for their 2014 season which includes losing quarterback Caleb Herring, running back Tim Cornett plus others. However, the Rebels will be blessed with the return of wide receiver Devante Davis. After having a great year which saw Davis earn second-team all-conference honors while catching 87 receptions for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns it seemed that he would be off to the NFL.
Add in losing Herring no longer throwing him the ball over not having Cornett take off pressure by being an excellent gap, and it is truly a shock Davis is staying. Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams left with two years of eligibility remaining when quarterback Derek Carr graduated.
It is not as if the Rebels will be completely voided of talent as Nick Sherry should be the team's starting quarterback -- he did begin the 2013 season as the starter before being benched.
The running game should be fine as there should be a committee of backs starting with seniors Adonis Smith and Shaquille Murray-Lawrence and sophomore-to-be Keith Whitely. Then there will be redshirt freshman Henri Jussila who showed promise in fall camp.
A main reason Davis likely stayed is that he did not get graded as highly as he would have liked, and by staying another year in college he can improve that draft stock which is something head coach Bobby Hauck mentioned.
Hauck also said how having Davis back in the fold for 2014 will help the team try to improve off of the 2013 season:
"Obviously, it's important for our football team to have him back," Hauck said. "He's a terrific player, and the idea that getting your degree ... and your team is something is a priority to you and finishing out something you started is what we all like to see."
Having Davis back in the lineup will give UNLV a leg up over some of their fellow conference mates by having a true playmaker at the wide receiver spot. Plus, Davis will enter the 2014 season as one of the league's best wide receivers.