Lavel Davis Jr. makes impactful return in season opener

Lavel Davis Jr. celebrates after scoring a 56 yard touchdown against Richmond (WSLS)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – As the Virginia Cavaliers starting offense stood in a huddle ahead of its first offensive drive Saturday, there was one player that seemingly towered over the rest with a 6-foot-7, nearly 220 pound frame--Lavel Davis Jr.

The junior wide receiver missed all of 2021 with a torn ACL so he was eager to get back on the field.

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“I was really thinking about it mid-play sometimes like, ‘I’m finally back,’” Davis said. Not only was he back but his presence was felt throughout Virginia’s season opener against Richmond.

He hauled in four catches for 89 yards including a 56 yard touchdown strike in the first half.

“Back in training camp, you started to see him gradually get confident,” said Virginia offensive coordinator Des Kitchings. “Totally different from the spring so for him to get out there and get a chance to catch a touchdown is huge for us and huge for him. Hopefully it bolsters his confidence moving forward.”

Even when Davis wasn’t targeted, he was working hard to seal the edges and creating running lanes on the perimeter ad the Cavaliers put together a stellar rushing attack.

“It really feels good to be back out there with my teammates and just people you work with all year,” Davis said. “That was the thing for me--get to week one. I got it written down on my mirror and in my room--just get to week one.” Lavel Davis Jr. and the Cavaliers did, earning a 34-17 victory.

So while the NBA has LeBron James aka “LBJ”, the Virginia Cavaliers have their own tower of power that hopes to dominate all season long in Lavel Davis Jr. aka “LDJ”.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.