Former Pitt running back A.J. Davis entered the transfer portal in October, and on Sunday, he revealed he would transfer to James Madison.
The former four-star recruit made the decision to leave Pitt after a six-game stretch during which he did not log a rush or reception. Davis seemed to fall out of favor with the Pitt staff this season, as Israel Abanikanda, Vincent Davis and Rodney Hammond formed a productive trio in Pitt’s backfield.
Davis was the clear No. 2 back in 2020, as he had 266 yards and one touchdown on 61 carries, which was down from 530 yards and four touchdowns in 2019. That placed him behind Vincent Davis, who ran for 632 yards and six scores on 143 attempts. The Davis-heavy backfield did not work out well for Pitt last season, as the program ranked No. 111 in rushing yards per game, with 119.9.
At James Madison, Davis will have an opportunity to play a key role in what has been the No. 4 scoring offense in the FCS in 2021. Davis could also address a deficiency in the James Madison offense, as the team ranks 39th in the FCS in rushing yards per game.
Davis is the second former Pitt starter to transfer to James Madison in the last four years. The last was former Pitt quarterback Ben DiNucci, who left the program in 2017. The move paid off for DiNucci, as he went on to play in the FCS title game in 2020 and was then drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.