In Kalamazoo, being a great wide receiver comes with huge expectations. Since local star Greg Jennings tore up the town in the middle part of the last decade, the Broncos have seen a slew of talented wide-outs come and go with boatloads of success. Jamarko Simmons, Jordan White, and hell, even Jaime Wilson got a go. Now, it's Corey Davis' turn to carry the name, and in two years, he's played every bit of the part, if not more.
"You know, the first season was rough with the 1-11 (record)," Davis says. "We came back (last year), and improved a lot."
In his first season, he was a surprise get for first year coach PJ Fleck. His brother Titus was a start at rival Central Michigan, so going to WMU was almost unheard of. Yet, Fleck somehow landed the 6-3 wide-out from Wheaton, Illinois, and leaned on him to burden a sputtering offense. He finished with 67 catches for 941 yards and only 6 touchdowns, yet showed the explosion that earned him MAC Freshman of the Year honors.
Coming into last season,he was named #7 in our Top 50 countdown, and just exploded behind a vastly improved offense (thanks in large part to the emergence of Jarvion Franklin and an improved offensive line for Zach Terrell). He finished with 78 catches, but ballooned to 1,408 yards and 15 touchdowns, earning First Team All-MAC Honors. More importantly, he helped lead his team to MAC West Championship contention, and a bowl bid (where he dominated a helpless Air Force secondary in a losing effort, snagging 8 catches for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns).
Now? He's number #3 on our list, and the expectations are even higher.
"It means a lot to me (being named #3)," Davis says. Yet, he still is fighting for that number one spot. "I still have a long way to go, and I'm never satisfied. I have to keep working and keep changing my best."
And after going 1-1 against his brother in their short head-to-head match-ups - with each winning on the road, and Corey's win coming on his brother's senior day - we asked Corey who was better: Him or Titus.
"I'll say him," as he laughs remembering he claimed himself better after his freshman season. "He's in the (NFL). He's doing pretty good and I'm proud of him."
And when the season starts, Davis will have the biggest chance to shine right away, as #5 Michigan State comes to Waldo Stadium to take on the Broncos. With many pro scouts and national media attending, Davis should have a chance to have a field day against an inexperienced Spartan secondary.
And when you ask if the Broncos are going to upset the Spartans?
"We're going to do our best," Corey says, as a smile comes to his face. The same smile that he seems to put on every time he is ready to put on a show.