Who is Ray Davis? What to know about the Kentucky RB who dominated against Florida

Running back Ray Davis turned in one of the most dominant halves in Kentucky football history with 206 rushing yards and three total touchdowns against No. 22 Florida on Saturday. He finished UK’s 33-14 win with 280 yards on 26 carries.

Here is what you need to know about the Wildcats’ star.

Before he played for UK, Ray Davis handed Wildcats an embarrassing loss

Kentucky’s Nov. 12, 2022, loss to Vanderbilt, which snapped a 26-game SEC losing streak for the Commodores, was sparked by consistent rushing success against the UK defense. Leading the way that afternoon was Davis, who totaled 129 rushing yards and one touchdown on 26 carries.

After the season, Davis transferred from Vanderbilt to Kentucky.

“I say if anybody wants to talk crap during practice, I’m going to bring up the game they played us, against Vandy, and just talk about 129 yards,” Davis said with a laugh after joining UK in January. “Nah, it’s been fun. We laugh and we talk. Some of the guys, they talk about the game, but I don’t really talk much about it.

“I’m a Kentucky Wildcat. I’m not a Vanderbilt Commodore. That’s in the past.”

In his rematch with Vanderbilt last week, Davis totaled 17 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

Ray Davis has transferred twice in his career

Davis started his career at Temple, rushing for 936 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2019. After rushing for 323 yards in his first four games for Temple in 2020, he entered the transfer portal for the first time.

After arriving at Vanderbilt, Davis started strong with 211 yards in his first three games before suffering a season-ending toe injury. Healthy again to start the 2022 season, Davis topped the 100-yard plateau five times in 12 games, including four times against SEC opponents.

Originally a member of the high school class of 2018, Davis used a post-graduate year at the Trinity Pawling School in New York to improve his grades enough to meet NCAA academic qualification standards.

Davis spent part of his childhood in foster care. He now wants to use his story of perseverance to inspire other kids in foster care.

Ray Davis (1) runs for a first down for Kentucky against Florida on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky.
Ray Davis (1) runs for a first down for Kentucky against Florida on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky.

Ray Davis has one of the craziest touchdowns of the season

While Davis was doing most of his damage on the ground against Florida, he has also proven to be a dynamic pass-catcher for Kentucky this season.

His best play of the year though came on one of the shortest passes thrown to him. Against Akron, UK quarterback Devin Leary escaped multiple would-be tacklers in the backfield to find Davis standing alone just a few yards from the line of scrimmage. Davis then cutback across the field and sprinted 58 yards for a touchdown.

College football final: Kentucky 33, Florida 14