SAN FRANCISCO (BVM) — Vernon Davis’s 13-year NFL career had many high and low points. It included suiting up for three teams and leading the NFL in touchdown receptions in 2009. Now the former tight end is pursuing new interests away from the gridiron.
Vernon Davis’s early life, college career
Davis grew up in Washington D.C. and was determined to become a star on the football field. He did just that at Dunbar High School.
“As a kid and going through the experiences I’ve been able to have, I think that’s what really shaped me into becoming a football player,” Davis said.
His performances at the prep level led him to become a four-star recruit and he was ranked as the No. 5 tight end in the country according to 247Sports. Davis drew interest from DI programs such as Florida, Purdue, Syracuse, Maryland and Virginia, but decided to stay close to home and attend the University of Maryland.
Davis moved into the national spotlight with the Terrapins. He saw action in all 13 games but registered only five catches as a true freshman. He improved over the next two seasons, becoming an All-American in 2005. Davis ended his collegiate career with 83 catches, 1,371 yards and nine TDs.
Vernon Davis’s NFL career
Davis declared for the 2006 NFL Draft following his junior season and impressed scouts with a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 10-foot-8 broad jump. His impressive combine performance shot him up draft boards and the San Francisco 49ers selected Davis with the No. 6 overall draft pick.
His NFL career started well as he compiled 774 receiving yards and seven TDs in his first two seasons. However, during the 2008 season, a postgame press conference by then-head coach Mike Singletary helped Davis change the perception of himself.
“That really moved me and helped shape me into the leader I was supposed to be during that time,” Davis said. “A lot of times when you’re a young man, and you’re growing or when you’re trying to find yourself as a player, we just need that one person or that someone who can mold us into a wonderful human being. And him being there at that time really helped me find myself and become that person the team needed me to be.”
His new view on who to be was a game changer and Davis’ career flourished following that season. He was relied upon in some big moments, like in the divisional round against the New Orleans Saints, where he made “The Catch III.” Davis and the 49ers reached the Super Bowl the following year but fell to the Baltimore Ravens.
Davis played two more years in San Francisco before being traded to the Denver Broncos, where he became a Super Bowl champion.
“The reason to play the game is to make it to the championship,” Davis said. “To be able to accomplish that is a great accomplishment in my life, and it’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Davis signed with the Washington Redskins following his short stint with the Broncos. His tenure with his hometown team lasted four seasons, and he racked up 1,721 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Vernon Davis after the NFL
Davis announced his retirement in a skit alongside Rob Gronkowski. This announcement triggered a transition to a new chapter in his life, where he started his acting career and began to make his own music.
“I think anytime you make a transition in life, it’s going to be tough,” Davis said. “There’s always going to be the notion of what your future holds for you, and the fear of the unknown is always going to be there, but the biggest thing you have to do is learn faith and trust the process; that’s what I’ve been able to do.”
Davis has been able to land movie roles alongside Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman and is the host of the show “Domino Masters.”
“I never imagined myself meeting or being on the same set as Bruce Willis,” Davis said.” It goes back to that saying, ‘What’s meant for you, is meant for you and it’ll happen.’”
It’s truly an exciting time for Davis as this new part of his life begins, and for someone who’s been around special NFL talent, being around great actors presents a different atmosphere for Davis.
“Any time you’re around someone who’s great, greatness presents itself the same way,” Davis said. “But you’re in different sectors, so the feeling and experience is totally different, but it’s the same kind of energy when you’re around someone like Morgan Freeman.”
Davis seems to be heading in a promising direction with his off-the-field career. But he wouldn’t be where he is today without hard work.
“It’s amazing; I can’t believe so much has happened and the short period of time,” Davis said. “But I know it’s because of the hard work and dedication I put in, and I trusted the process, and I had faith.”