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Tayon Fleet-Davis figures to play a larger role in Maryland football’s offense this season

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The senior has the most experience of any running back on the team and will be competing for the starting job.

Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time.

We’ve gone over wide receivers and tight ends so far, and now we are reviewing the Terps’ running backs. Matt profiled redshirt senior Jake Funk and his potential leading role and today we’ll look at another potential starter, Tayon Fleet-Davis.

Tayon Fleet-Davis, RB, No. 8

Height: 6’0
Weight: 217
Year: Senior
Hometown: Oxon Hill, Maryland
High School: Potomac High School

2019 Stats: 10 games; 63 att, 265 yds, 2 TD; 15 rec, 181 yds, 2 TD

Career Stats: 27 games; 136 att, 589 yds, 7 TD; 19 rec, 227 yds, 3 TD

The background

Fleet-Davis joined his hometown Terrapins in 2017 as a three-star recruit, per the 24/7 Sports Composite. The running back didn’t get too much playing time as a freshman, but saw much more action on the field in the following two seasons.

His first career touchdown came in Maryland’s upset victory over Texas in the 2018 season opener. Fleet-Davis followed with five more scores in his sophomore campaign, all but one rushing.

In a junior year where his stats looked to be all career highs, Fleet-Davis’ 10-game season was cut short after he was arrested with a DUI in November. Half of his touchdowns came as a receiver, cementing himself as a constant offensive threat when on the field.

Fleet-Davis is Maryland’s best dual threat

With an overcrowded running back group for the majority of his career, Fleet-Davis had to expand his talents in order to see the field. In his sophomore campaign, he played behind starting senior Ty Johnson and the following year saw less reps than both sophomore Anthony McFarland Jr. and junior Javon Leake.

Fleet-Davis tallied 19 receptions over his last two seasons in College Park, ranking second among running backs in that span behind only McFarland, who was the Terrapins’ most frequent running option.

Fleet-Davis’ ability to get out in the open field as a receiver has been a large reason why he’s seen as much playing time as he has, and he should continue see more snaps out of the backfield under head coach Mike Locksley’s system.

With his success as a natural runner as well, the Maryland native will have a chance to compete to become this year’s go-to back in a depleted position room with the loss of Leake and McFarland to the NFL.

The senior has the make to be the team’s workhorse

Maryland’s long list of running backs in recent years has hindered one player from becoming “the guy” on the field. The running-back-by-committee approach worked when two or three future NFL players were in the backfield, but that could change in 2020.

Fleet-Davis is one of two seniors at the running back position this year with Jake Funk, who is returning from injury. The only two scholarship backs remaining are freshmen Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs.

The senior has the talent and experience to come out of the gate strong and become the Terrapins’ workhorse back that can carry them in a pass-heavy offense this season.