CARBONDALE — D.J. Davis, SIU's fifth all-time leading rusher, has accepted an invitation to the Hula Bowl in Hawaii, according to a tweet from Saluki Football on Friday.
Davis, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back from Pompano Beach, Florida, is only the second Saluki in history to accept an invitation to play in the game in Honolulu. Former running back Arkee Whitlock, a Saluki Hall of Famer, played in the 2006 event. This year's game is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, at Aloha Stadium and will include NCAA players from all divisions, along with international players from Japan, Canada, Australia, the UK and Polynesian players with historic ties to the islands.
Davis rushed for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns on 189 carries last season in 10 games. He missed two games after fracturing his elbow at Arkansas State in Week 4 but returned against No. 18 Youngstown State. Davis also caught 19 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, returned three punts for 11 yards and took five kickoff returns for 92 yards. SIU's all-time kickoff return yardage leader, Davis rushed for 2,697 yards and 13 scores in four years and caught 112 passes for 908 yards and seven touchdowns.
"Blessings...," Davis tweeted Friday night. "All the praise and glory to God! Salukis in Hawaii."
SIU coach Nick Hill tweeted "Unbelievable young man. Been telling the scouts all year this kid will find a way. Do coaches get to come with you?"
Davis had five 100-yard games his senior year, rushing for a season-high 194 yards on 30 carries in a win at Western Illinois. Redshirt freshman Javon Williams Jr., a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the nation's top FCS freshman, led SIU with 1,038 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. Williams and Davis were the first Saluki tandem to ever rush for 1,000 yards or more in the same season.