Weber State University freshman Josh Davis has been named Utah’s Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year by the Utah Sports Commission as part of the Governor’s State of Sports Awards.

Davis, a Sandy native, helped the Wildcats make another deep playoff run and win their second consecutive Big Sky Title. Davis set many freshman records including seven games with 100 yards rushing and two games with 200 yards.

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Josh Davis receiving the ball from Jake Constantine. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

After being a standout athlete in high school, having earned two KSL MVPs, a 4A MVP and was a former Gatorade Player of the Year. His 2018 season just adds to his impressive on the field resume.

Davis was the first Wildcat to receive the Jerry Rice award which recognizes the National Freshman of the Year.

Despite such a stellar high school career, Davis wasn’t heavily recruited. And to pair this with a season ending injury to start his collegiate career, it would be an understatement to say that he had a chip on his shoulder.

“I had walk on offers to USC and Cal,” Davis said. “But I wasn’t going to have my parents pay for a 65 grand education when I could come to Weber and get it for free.”

In the 12 games, Davis rushed for 1,363 yards and nine touchdowns on 250 carries. He also added 30 receptions to go along with 14 punt returns to give him 1,779 all purpose yards on the season, which is the current record for a Wildcat freshman.

He contributed 60 points to the Wildcats total 362, which was second on the team. Davis was also the only player aside from Rashid Shaheed to record over 1,000 all purpose yards, in addition to being ranked 10th in the country in all purpose yards a game with 148.2.

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Josh Davis running to catch the punt. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

Davis’ best game cam against in-state rival Southern Utah University. He plowed through the defense for 225 yards on 36 attempts and added two touchdowns.

However, his longest run came against Northern Colorado as he galloped down the field for a 95 yard touchdown run and was the longest run of the season by any running back in the Big Sky.

Davis led all FCS freshman in rushing yards and yards per game. His efforts earned him Big Sky Freshman of the year and he also received All-Big Sky Honors.

Davis wasn’t even supposed to get starting reps this season. After starting running back Treshawn Garrett went down with an injury, Davis’ number was called. And during the duration of the season he rewarded his coaches and teammates faith in him.

“Coach Q had faith in me,” Davis said. “I knew the plays.”

Going into his sophomore season, Davis’ goals are simple, he wants to get bigger, faster, stronger and to make the playoffs. And despite his historic season, pressure and expectations aren’t phasing Davis.

“It’s not pressure it’s just like I’m there for my bros,” Davis said.

Davis will be presented with the award by Utah Governor Gary Herbert on Wednesday, April 10 at the Vivint SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City.

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