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1st-and-5, ACC Rookies: WR showcase with Donavon Greene, Lavel Davis, Khafre Brown

Every week during the 2020 football season we highlight five ACC rookies that put together standout performances. This week’s group is heavy on wide receiver — led by Wake Forest’s Donavon Greene, Lavel Davis of Virginia and North Carolina’s Khafre Brown.

 

Lavel Davis, Virginia

Playing for the first time since Oct. 17, Lavel Davis took flight against Louisville. The 6-foot-7 wideout hauled in four receptions for 74 yards (18.5 yards per catch) and a nine-yard touchdown. All four of his receptions went for first downs.

For the season now, Davis — a matchup concern for any opposing secondary — has 13 catches for 284 yards (21.85 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. Davis has emerged as a challenging vertical threat; the rookie receiver has 10 catches for 15+ yards, too.

 

Donavon Greene, Wake Forest

After experiencing a great deal of turnover at the wide receiver position, Wake Forest needed new players to step up. And while Jaquarii Roberson has become Sam Hartman’s top target, redshirt freshman Donavon Greene has emerged, too.

During the shootout loss at UNC, Greene caught eight passes for 170 yards (21.25 yards per catch) — both career highs — and two touchdowns.

 

Khafre Brown, North Carolina

In the midst of Sam Howell’s pyrotechnics against Wake Forest, UNC receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome went wild as well.

Newsome led the team with 10 receptions for 189 yards (18.9 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. As usual, Dyami Brown was a star in the vertical passing game: 8 catches for 163 yards (20.4 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.

However, as good as those two have been all season, UNC has received strong efforts from its secondary weapons, too. Despite a couple of drops, Khafre Brown, Dyami’s younger brother, grabbed three passes for a career-best 87 yards (29 yards per catch).

Brown has 12 receptions on the season now (22.75 yards per catch); half of the rookie receiver’s catches have gone for 15+ yards.

 

Chris Tyree, Notre Dame

Sitting undefeated, Notre Dame’s offense has hummed this season, behind a strong offensive line, with quality decision-making from Ian Book and Kyren Williams on the ground.

During the second quarter of Notre Dame’s road win over Boston College, however, Williams left with an ankle injury. This put the spotlight on Book, who had a career day throwing the ball, freshman running back Chris Tyree.

After seeing a reduced role in the team’s running game in recent weeks, Tyree went for 74 yards on the ground. Tyree also returned four kickoffs for 84 yards. The former 4-star recruit, who committed to Notre Dame over Oklahoma and Alabama, ranks third in the ACC with 320 yards on kickoff returns this season.

 

Chubba Purdy, Florida State

Arguably the most challenging season in program history continues to churn (read: spiral downward) for Florida State; the team is now sans its two best players, Marvin Wilson and Tamorrion Terry.

The loss at NC State dropped FSU to 2-6 on the season. As Mike Norvell looks for future solutions, he’s pushed a youth movement in his program; part of that process includes turning the quarterback position over to Chubby Purdy.

(Unfortunately, this transition won’t last for too long: earlier this week, Norvell announced that Purdy will miss the remainder of the 2020 season with a collarbone injury — initially suffered back in August.)

Purdy’s college career started in rough fashion, though. During his debut against Louisville — on in relief of Jordan Travis — Purdy went 0-of-9 passing the ball. So, not great.

The loss at NC State was far from a virtuoso performance; however, Purdy put up semi-decent numbers. Purdy completed 15-of-23 pass attempts (65.2 percent) for 181 yards (7.9 yards per attempt), two touchdowns and zero interceptions. So, not bad. (Purdy’s late-game touchdown pass to Warren Thompson was quite pretty, too.)

Purdy also ran for 54 yards on 12 carries.

 

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