Vernon Davis

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Vernon Davis (born January 31, 1984) in Washington, D.C., is a former National Football League tight end for the San Francisco 49ers. Vernon's nickname, "The Duke", originated from a name he inherited from his father who was called "Duke."[1] Vernon Davis majored in Art Studio at Maryland. Upon graduating from college, he was drafted in the 1st round (6th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Davis signed to a 5-year, $23 million deal making him the highest paid tight end in 2006.

High School

Vernon Davis played tight end and safety in high school and also lettered in basketball and track. He was the District of Columbia area high school high-jump champion with a 6-foot-5 leap. He played but did not start as a true freshman in 2003. In 2004, he played in 11 games and started six (playing at the tight end, fullback and wide receiver positions).[2]

College career

Vernon Davis majored in art studio. On the football field he ranks 13th in school history in receptions (93), 11th in receiving yards (1,371) and tied for ninth in touchdown receptions (9) as he lined up at fullback, H-back and flanker at Maryland. He started every game as a junior, leading the team with 51 receptions and the conference with 871 receiving yards (17.1 avg.). He was also an All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection by consensus. Also chosen as a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end, in addition to earning consensus All-America honors, becoming the first Maryland offensive player since 1955 (center Bob Pellegrini) to be named to AP's first-team.

During his freshmen year in 2003, Vernon Davis saw the most consistent action of any true freshman, playing in all 13 contests. He caught five receptions for 59 yards (11.8 avg.) and led the kickoff coverage unit with eight solo tackles. He played in all 11 games his sophomore season in 2004, ranking second on the team with 27 catches and leading Terrapins with 441 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Davis was heavily involved with working out in college. He set school strength records (in spring of 2005) for a tight end in the bench press (465 pounds), power-clean (355 pounds), index (797 pounds) and squat (685 pounds). He finished his college career with 1371 yards on 83 receptions for an impressive 16.5 yards per catch, the best average of any first round tight end ever and more yards than other previous high first round tight ends Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey, Kyle Brady and Kellen Winslow II.

NFL career

Davis is an instant play-making threat to 49ers offense with his tremendous size, strength, speed and after-catch abilities. He also plays an instrumental role in the ground game with his superb blocking ability. Head coach, Mike Singletary, claimed that Vernon was the best blocking tight end he had ever seen.[3]

2006 NFL Draft

Davis was the sixth overall choice in the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers, where he became Maryland's highest pick since Randy White was selected as the second overall selection by the Dallas Cowboys in 1975. He was the second player taken by the 49ers in the first round from the University of Maryland.

San Francisco 49ers

2006 rookie season

Vernon Davis completed his rookie campaign with 20 catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played. He scored on his first NFL touch in the season-opener at Arizona.

Vernon's first reception in the NFL was a 31-yard TD catch, against the Arizona Cardinals on September 10, 2006.[4] He added a career-long 52 yard TD against the Packers on December 10 on a short catch and long run after the catch. Davis played in 10 games in the 2006 season due to an injury he suffered on September 24, 2006. He sustained a hairline fracture to his left fibula, on a non-contact play against the Philadelphia Eagles, but returned on November 19 against the Seattle Seahawks. For the season, he had 265 yards receiving on 20 catches, averaging 13.2 yards per reception. He also had 3 receiving touchdowns.[5]

2007 season

In Week 3, Davis was injured while attempting to catch a pass from quarterback Alex Smith vs. the Steelers. Davis sprained his right knee and missed the next two games. Despite his injury, Davis played in 14 games during the 2007 season. He finished the season with 52 receptions for 509 yards and 4 touchdowns.[6]

2008 season

After catching a 7-yard pass in the third quarter, Davis slapped Seahawks safety Brian Russell in the facemask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Coach Mike Singletary then benched him and sent him to the locker room for the remainder of the game. The following game Vernon Davis leaped over a Cardinal defender and caught a pass from Shaun Hill resulting in an impressive touchdown, his first of the season.[7] Over 13 games during the 2008 regular season, Davis finished the season with 31 receptions for 358 yards, and 2 touchdowns.[8]

2009 season

After six games of the current NFL season, Vernon Davis has amassed 29 receptions, 355 yards, scoring 6 touchdowns.[9]


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