|Height: 6-3 | Weight: 254 | College: Maryland|
Davis is regarded by many as the best pass catching tight end in college football. Not only does he have the ability to stretch the defense, but his lateral agility has allowed him to line up at fullback, H-back and flanker during his career. One of the team's finest athletes, he boasts the second-best strength index (797) on the squad and is blessed with 4.41-second speed (40-yard dash), in addition to displaying excellent strength (460-pound bench press) and incredible leaping ability (40-inch vertical jump).
Davis was a three-sport standout at Dunbar High School. In football, he started three seasons at tight end and safety but also saw time at wide receiver, kick returner, linebacker and defensive end during his tenure. He was rated as the third-best tight end in the nation by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming and was a member of Super Prep's Elite 50 (39th-rated player overall). He was a Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick by Super Prep and rated the third-best player (at any position) in the region.
As a senior, he was chosen second-team All-USA by USA Today, was ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the nation and the seventh-best player (overall) in the Atlantic East by Rivals.com, added first-team All-Metro honors from The Washington Post and was selected Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia. Davis caught 21 passes for 511 yards (24.3 avg) and five touchdowns as a senior, despite missing three games with a deep bone bruise below his knee. He also caught three two-point conversions and returned four kicks (two kickoffs and two punts) for touchdowns.
His team compiled a 31-5 record during his time at Dunbar High. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. As a junior, Davis had 35 receptions for 385 yards and eleven touchdowns. In track, he clocked a personal best 10.7 seconds in the 100-meters and 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He also was the DCIAA champion in the high jump with a leap of 6'5". Davis also competed in basketball.
Davis was heavily recruited, but chose Maryland over Florida, Virginia, Purdue and Miami, among others. He played in every game as a reserve tight end as a true freshman in 2003. Most of his action came on special teams, leading the kickoff coverage unit with eight solo tackles. He also made five catches for 59 yards (11.8 avg).
The following season, Davis started six of eleven games for the Terps. He ranked second on the team with 27 receptions for 441 yards (16.3 avg) and three touchdowns, with all three scores coming in the Duke contest. He also posted two assisted tackles.
2005 proved to be a banner season for Davis, as he garnered consensus All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He was also a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the top tight end in the nation. Davis led the team with 51 catches and paced the ACC with 871 yards (17.1 avg), adding six touchdowns.
In 35 games with the Terps, Davis started 17 times. He caught 93 passes for 1,371 yards (14.7 avg) and nine touchdowns. Davis also gained 68 yards on three kickoff returns, rushed once for a 2-yard loss and registered eleven tackles (9 solos).
Positives: Davis is not only built for speed, but also possesses a very impressive power base (460-pound bench press, 685-pound squat, 4.41 40-yard dash in on-campus workouts) Has good overall muscle development, long arms, good bubble, soft, natural hands and excellent leaping ability for this position Shows suddenness off the line of scrimmage and the ability to gain advantage on a defender His burst off the line and strong hand usage allow him to quickly defeat the jam Has outstanding quickness to elude and run up the seam on deep routes Gets in and out of his breaks quickly and has the body control to break down and make the quick, sudden cuts Gets into the open with a quick stride and can find the ball and make the catch with defenders draped on him Has the vision to work back to the quarterback and the soft hands to extend and pluck outside the body's frame Shows outstanding toughness extending for the pass and will not hesitate to combat for jump balls Does a very good job of tracking the ball over his shoulders, getting his head turned around to maintain relationship on the pass in flight His ball adjustment skills and body control let him get to off-target passes, utilizing his excellent flexibility to make the acrobatic grabs Gets a strong surge off the line of scrimmage, generating good pop and hand extension when making contact blocking in-line Has the ability to climb into the second level and make the cut-off blocks Always looking for moving targets to attack.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height, but compensates with excellent leaping ability Used to get too high in his stance, failing to sink his hips to separate out of his cuts down field, but has made good improvement in this area.
Davis has a thick frame with room for additional growth. He displays very good overall muscle development in his legs, good bubble, defined shoulders and arms, good chest width, long arms and big hands. He can generate excellent explosion coming off the snap and his speed also allows the coaches to line him wide and capitalize on that quickness in long routes.
His burst off the snap allows him to consistently gain advantage. He has above average up field and lateral quickness to reach the second level and has more than enough strength to defeat the jam. When he explodes out of his stance, he immediately gains advantage to hook the nine-tech and moves his feet well to sustain when blocking.
The thing you see on film is his ability to get off the line cleanly and avoid underneath coverage on the route stem. He is best when used as a seam threat, as he shows the acceleration and speed to challenge even cornerbacks on deep patterns. He also uses his hands very well to elude and break free from the pile when working through traffic.
Davis displays very good quickness in and out of his breaks. He has superb body control to break down and make the quick cuts. In 2005, he greatly improved his ability to sink his hips and separate out of his cuts. He used to shuffle his feet and gear down in his breaks, but has demonstrated better acceleration. His patterns are precise vs. man coverage and he works hard to gain leverage.
Davis shows the ability to work back to the quarterback. He has a knack for finding and settling into the zone's soft area and shows valid feet running underneath routes. He lacks ideal height at 6-feet-3, but still presents a nice target on short routes, displaying a good understanding for leverage and how to sit in the zone.
He is rarely distracted when working in a crowd and will stand tall while taking a punishing hit. He does a very good job of extending his arms to catch the ball with his hands in front of his frame. Davis also plays with good aggression and does not hesitate to combat for the jump balls. His large, soft hands let him extend, pluck, snatch and secure the ball with ease.
Davis has the explosion and second gear to find the open seam on deep routes. He shows a good ability to track the ball in flight and has that sudden burst to break tackles after initial contact. He demonstrates the body control and ball skills to adjust downfield and runs hard, knowing where to find the end zone.
As a blocker, he might lack ideal height and bulk, but attacks with good aggression. Davis has the ability to surge off the line of scrimmage and make contact, generating pop with proper hand extension when working in-line. He plays with good leverage and it is very rare to see him lean into the defender. Davis stays at a good pad level, with a wide base and has the leg drive to wall off and the hand punch to shock his opponent.
Davis also gets to the second level quickly and is equally effective at cutting or walling off, moving his feet well to sustain. He picks up things easily working in space and shows intent when attacking the linebackers. He excels at making the cut-off block and has the ability to locate and hit moving targets.
With more emphasis being made in the pros to involve the tight end in the passing attack, it is clear that Davis has very good value. He could be the first tight end drafted due to his combination of quickness, leaping ability, speed and strength. He lacks ideal height and could use more bulk, but not at the risk of losing some of his incredible speed.
An Iron Terp performer (top weight room award), Davis holds the school strength records for a tight end in bench (460), power clean (355), vertical jump (40 inches), index (797), squat (685) and 40-yard dash time (4.41), based on recordings in the spring of 2005 Has lined up at H-Back, tight end, fullback and flanker for Maryland In 2005, he earned consensus All-American honors, including from the Associated Press, becoming the first Maryland offensive player since 1955 (center Bob Pellegrini) to be named to AP's first team Ranks thirteenth in school history with 93 receptions His 1,371 yards receiving rank eleventh in Maryland annals His nine touchdown catches rank tied for ninth on the school's all-time record list.
Consensus All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection Became the first Maryland player since center Bob Pellegrini in 1955 to earn first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press Only the eleventh overall All-American first-team pick in school annals Finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end Started every game, leading the team with 51 receptions and the conference with 871 receiving yards (17.1 avg) His six touchdown catches rank tenth on the school's season-record list His 51 receptions also rank tenth on the Terps' annual record chart while his 871 yards rank fifth, topped only by Marcus Badgett (1,240 in 1992), Jermaine Lewis (957 in 1993, 937 in 1995) and Geroy Simon (891 in 1994) Of the 75 passes targeted to Davis, he converted 39 into first downs, including thirteen third-down plays Had eighteen catches for 20 yards or longer Set up seven other touchdown drives and five field goals in addition to his six scoring grabs Penalized four times Graded 82.5% for blocking consistency as he registered 67 knockdowns, including 18 blocks down field and had eight touchdown-resulting blocks.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Navy Only caught two passes for 26 yards, but also recorded a solo tackle and delivered seven knockdowns Stopped Greg Sudduth after the strong safety intercepted a pass thrown by QB Sam Hollenbach and returned it 16 yards in the second quarter Had a 21-yard grab with 0:11 left before halftime to set up a 27-yard field goal by Dan Ennis.
Clemson Hauled in six passes for 140 yards and a touchdown Also graded 84% for blocking consistency as he totaled eight knockdowns and one touchdown-resulting block Kept a first quarter drive alive when he caught a 44-yard third-&11 pass from QB Sam Hollenbach Penalized ten yards for holding midway through the second quarter and also leveled middle linebacker Anthony Walter to spring Hollenbach for a 1-yard touch-down run before halftime Added a 31-yard catch at the start of the third quarter, followed by a 30-yard grab of a third-and-7 pass, as Tiger defensive end Phil Merling was penalized 15 yards for a personal foul after he mauled Davis on that play Three plays later, Davis had the last laugh when he snared a 29-yard scoring strike from Hollenbach on a third-and-7 toss to cap a 6-play, 80-yard drive Also had a 31-yard kickoff return Earned Mackey Award Player of the Week honors for that performance.
West Virginia Was again named Mackey Award Player of the Week, grabbing five passes for 158 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter Also had a 25-yard catch that set up a 34-yard field goal by Dan Ennis in the third quarter.
Wake Forest Limited to 28 yards on a pair of catches, but delivered seven knockdowns, including a pair of down field blocks Leveled strong safety Patrick Ghee to spring tailback Keon Lattimore for a 3-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Virginia Bounced back with four receptions for 59 yards and a 24-yard touchdown that capped an 88-yard, 9-play drive. Had previously caught a 47-yard pass for an apparent score on that drive, but it was nullified by a Maryland penalty Also delivered six knock- downs, upending inside linebacker Kia Parham to give QB Sam Hollenbach time to find Danny Melendez with a 10-yard scoring toss in the first quarter Later took down defensive end Brennan Schmidt on Keon Lattimore's second quarter 9-yard touchdown run that concluded a 9-play, 84-yard drive.
Temple Snared five passes for 79 yards Four of his catches were good for first downs
Graded a season-high 88% for blocking consistency, producing eight knockdowns, two of them down field and made a touchdown-resulting block when he stopped defensive end Mike Mendenhall to spring tailback Mario Merrills for a 6-yard scoring run that finished a 66-yard, 7-play drive in the second quarter Set up a 24-yard field goal by Dan Ennis in the first quarter with a 27-yard catch, followed by a pass interference penalty vs. cornerback Garrett Schultz Also had long catches of 20 and 21 yards.
Virginia Tech Gained 48 yards on four catches, including a 28-yarder in the first quarter, followed by a 10-yard snatch of a third-and-3 pass during that drive.
Florida State Followed with four catches for 54 yards Three of his grabs resulted in first downs, with two coming on third-down plays Had a 29-yard catch, but on the next play, he was penalized five yards for a false start in the second quarter Was beaten by line-backer A.J. Nicholson on the right edge, as the defender slipped into the backfield to sack QB Joel Statham for a 2-yard loss in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-5 play that killed a 13-play, 43-yard drive.
North Carolina Exploded for 139 yards on seven receptions with a touchdown and gained 12 yards on a kickoff return All seven of his catches were good for first downs, including converting two third-down plays Added six knockdowns with two down field Had a 36-yard grab in the second quarter Kept a third quarter 39-yard, 5-play drive alive when he caught a third-and-7 pass from QB Sam Hollenbach for a 12-yard gain and capped that drive with a 24-yard touchdown catch In the fourth quarter, Davis took down defensive end Tommy Davis, who was zeroing in on Hollenbach. The QB then unleashed a 67-yard scoring bomb to J.J. Walker with 7:26 left to play.
Boston College Grabbed four passes for 32 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal toss from Sam Hollenbach in the fourth quarter Gained 7 yards on a reverse and made six knockdowns Crashed into All-American defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka to clear a rush lane used by Lance Ball for a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
North Carolina State Closed out the season with eight receptions for 108 yards and a score, adding 25 yards on a kickoff return Was penalized five yards for encroachment in the second quarter In the fourth quarter, Davis returned a kickoff 25 yards, followed by a 14-yard catch on a third-and-3 play. Later in that drive, Davis was penalized for illegal motion, but made up for that miscue on the next play when he caught a second-and-goal toss from QB Sam Hollenbach for a 15-yard touchdown that capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with 4:21 left to play.
Played in every game, starting at H-back vs. Northern Illinois, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest Finished second on the team with 27 catches for 441 yards (16.3 avg) and three touchdown Lost two yards on a reverse, but recorded two assisted tackles.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Northern Illinois Made his first career start and finished with five receptions for 72 yards Had a 39-yard catch in the second quarter that led to a 43-yard Nick Novak field goal Added an 11-yard grab in the third quarter to set up Novak's 34-yard field goal and also tackled Garrett Wolfe, with assistance from Curtis Williams when Wolfe returned a Novak third quarter kickoff 24 yards.
Temple Did not catch any passes.
West Virginia Limited to a 4-yard grab.
Duke Earned ACC Player of the Week and Mackey Award Tight End of the Week honors after Davis hauled in four passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns Caught a Joel Statham pass 20 yards downfield, stayed in bounds and took it to the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown and added a 12-yard scoring grab in the second quarter Broke three tackles and gained 30 yards after the catch on a five-yard out for a 35-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
Georgia Tech Gained 28 yards on two catches, but was tackled for a 2-yard loss on a reverse.
North Carolina State Held to a 6-yard catch Assisted J.J. Justice in tackling Marcus Hudson on a 17-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Clemson His only reception was good for 4 yards.
Florida State Had a season-high six receptions for 99 yards Took a short Joel Statham pass and ran after the catch for a 33-yard reception, hurdling two Florida State defenders and falling two yards short of the end zone in the second quarter, setting up Maryland's first touchdown.
Virginia Snared five passes, all good for first downs, as they totaled 104 yards Took a pass up the right sideline for a 46-yard reception late in the third quarter Split a pair of defenders across the middle after catching a pass from QB Jordan Steffy in the fourth quarter, picking up 43 yards on the play.
Virginia Tech Managed only one catch for 8 yards.
Wake Forest Closed out the season with a 15-yard reception.
Saw the most consistent action of any true freshman, playing in all thirteen contests Had five receptions for 59 yards (11.8 avg) and led the kickoff coverage unit with eight solo tackles.
|2003 Game Analysis|
Florida State Had his first career reception, which came on a 1-yard pass from Orlando Evans in the fourth quarter Also tackle Willie Reid on a first quarter 18-yard kickoff return.
The Citadel Made a pair of solo tackles, stopping Bud Pough on kickoff returns of 20 & 28 yards in the first quarter.
West Virginia His lone tackle of the game came on a big hit on special teams during the second quarter, forcing the Mountaineers' drive to begin at their own 18-yard line, when Davis crashed into Kay-Jay Harris on an 18-yard kickoff return out of the end zone.
Eastern Michigan Followed with a pair of receptions for 19 yards Narrowly missed blocking a punt block, as he nearly got a piece of one in the first quarter Had a 9-yard catch of a Scott McBrien pass to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by tailback Josh Allen in the second quarter Took down Terry Riley on a 16-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
North Carolina Credited with an 11-yard reception.
Wake Forest Tackled Willie Idlette on a 21-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.
West Virginia (Gator Bowl) In the Terps' second meeting vs. the Mountaineers, Davis
made his most athletic play of the season, taking a quick out and turning it into a 28-yard gain, making would-be tacklers miss and breaking tackles along the way, setting up QB Scott McBrien's 22-yard scoring strike to Jafar Williams that capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive in the second quarter Also saved a potential touchdown on a kickoff return in the third quarter. Nick Novak's 65-yard kickoff was fielded by Bryan Wright in the WVU end zone and he advanced the ball 7 yards before handing off to Rasheed Marshall. Marshall then raced 29 yards before Davis dragged him down at the WVU 36.
2002: Missed four games during his high school senior season with a deep bone bruise below his kneecap.
Campus: An Iron Terp with the second-highest strength index on the team Owns school strength records for a tight end in bench (460), power clean (355), vertical jump (40 inches), index (797), squat (685) and 40-yard dash time (4.41) All were recorded in spring of 2005.
Attended Dunbar (Washington, D.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Craig Jefferies Started three seasons at tight end and safety but also saw time at wide receiver, kick returner, linebacker and defensive end during his tenure Rated as the third-best tight end in the nation by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming and was a member of Super Prep's Elite 50 (39th-rated player overall) Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick by Super Prep and rated the third-best player (at any position) in the region As a senior, he was chosen second-team All-USA by USA Today, was ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the nation and the seventh-best player (overall) in the Atlantic East by Rivals.com, added first-team All-Metro honors from The Washington Post and was selected Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia Caught 21 passes for 511 yards (24.3 avg) and five touchdowns as a senior, despite missing three games with a deep bone bruise below his knee Also caught three two-point conversions and returned four kicks (two kickoffs and two punts) for touchdowns His team compiled a 31-5 record during his time at Dunbar High Selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl As a junior, Davis had 35 receptions for 385 yards and eleven touchdowns In track, he clocked a personal best 10.7 seconds in the 100-meters and 4.4 in the 40-yard dash DCIAA champion in the high jump with a leap of 6'5" Also competed in basketball.
Art Studio major Nicknamed "The Duke" Son of Jacqueline Davis Born Vernon Davis on 1/31/84 Resides in Washington, D.C.