One of the University of Wisconsin’s top offensive weapons will make his season debut against BYU on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.
Sophomore wide receiver Danny Davis makes his return this week after a two-game suspension for his involvement in an alleged sexual assault that occurred in April.
“His suspension is served, and he’ll be ready to go,” UW coach Paul Chryst said. ”... It’s one more player that’s played. Danny’s still young. He’s starting his second season, but he’s a guy that’s played in games before, made plays. And certainly he’s different than any of the receivers we’re playing with right now, so he gives you depth and a little bit of a different skill set.”
Davis’ roommate, Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus, faces criminal charges of second- and third-degree sexual assault and is suspended indefinitely. According to a criminal complaint, Davis was present during the alleged assault in April and allegedly took photos of at least one of the victims.
UW allowed Davis to practice during his suspension, so he shouldn’t need to be eased into the lineup.
“I think he’s handled it well,” tight end Zander Neuville said. “His locker’s right next to mine, so I’ve kind of been talking to him the last couple weeks, and he seems like he’s kept his spirits high.
“Danny’s a really versatile player. The biggest thing that I saw last year was just his ability to go make a play on the deep ball. He just naturally has really good hands, and I think that’s something you can’t really teach. It’ll be huge to have him back, and the more depth we have, the better for our team.”
The Badgers listed Davis as a second-team player on this week’s depth chart behind starters A.J. Taylor and Kendric Pryor. Taylor’s enjoyed two outstanding games to start his junior season, catching 10 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown.
Davis caught 26 passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games as a true freshman in 2017 and capped off the year with a three-touchdown performance in the Orange Bowl. He formed a dangerous trio of pass-catchers with Taylor and Pryor over the final five games of last season after Cephus suffered a broken leg Nov. 4 at Indiana. Seven of Davis’ 26 catches went for 20-plus yards.
“He brings a lot of explosive plays,” UW left guard Michael Deiter said. “He’s got the ability to make big plays for us. A.J. and all the guys can do that too, but it’s just nice to get another guy in there to make plays. (Depth) is never going to hurt you.”
Davis’ return could signal a decrease in snaps for local walk-ons Jack Dunn and Adam Krumholz. Dunn is currently listed as the other second-team wide receiver on the depth chart alongside Davis.
From a talent standpoint, however, Davis could eventually challenge Taylor as the Badgers’ top wideout.
“I think he’ll be ready,” Pryor said. “He’s excited to get back, antsy. That’s all he’s been talking about.”