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Mike Davis emerging as Horns' 'go-to' guy

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mike Davis didn't catch a pass in his first game as a Longhorn, but in 10 other games, he finished with 47 catches as a true freshman. He accounted for 478 yards and two receiving touchdowns, tied for the team lead.

With 2010's leading receiver, James Kirkendoll, out of eligibility, Davis is charged with taking control of the Longhorns' receiving corps in just his second year in the program. So far, he's taken advantage of the opportunity.

"Right now, he would be the go-to receiver on our team," said coach Mack Brown. "He’s really had three great days of practice, not good days. We’ve been impressed."

A knee injury kept Davis out of his first Red River Rivalry and set him back in the middle of the season, Brown said. But early on in his career, he's already showing signs of leadership that can be passed down to others in the program.

"We’d have 6 a.m. meetings and Mike is sitting out at the door at 5," Brown said. "He’s just so anxious, but he really loves football, loves to play, loves to compete, loves to practice. He’s got the passion you need for it."

He's impressed on the field as a route-runner, and Brown complimented the sophomore on his hands and his head, which has helped him rack up a 3.7 GPA with three semesters at Texas behind him.

After practice, he's on the field for 30 minutes catching extra passes.

"He can be a great player, not just a good player," Brown said. "He’s talented, he can catch, he’s tough, he’s smart. He’s got excellent hands. He runs really good routes. He’s got to learn to block better, but he knows that."

The biggest factor needed to get Davis from good to great is simple.

"It’ll be quarterback play," Brown said. "He’ll do his part. We’ve just got to get him the ball."