American Football Wiki
Vernon Davis
Davis in February 2010
Davis in February 2010
No. 85, 80
Tight End
Personal information
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
College: Maryland
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Debuted in 2006 for the San Francisco 49ers
Career history

Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl Champion (50)
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Receptions 583
Receiving Yards 7,562
Receiving Touchdowns 63

Vernon Leonard Davis (born January 31, 1984) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League. He was drafted in the 1st round (6th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Upon entering the league, Davis signed to a 5-year, $23 million deal that made him the highest paid tight end at the time. He joined current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. as the fourth highest tight end ever drafted after Ron Kramer, (Green Bay, No. 4 in 1957) Mike Ditka (Chicago, No. 5 in 1961) and Riley Odoms (Denver, No. 5 in 1972). After three mediocre, injury riddled seasons Davis finally broke out in 2009, leading the NFL in touchdown receptions and quickly vaulting himself into the league's elite at the tight end position.

Early life[]

Davis attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., and was a letterman in football, basketball, and track & field. Regarded as a four-star recruit by, Davis was listed as the No. 4 tight end prospect of the class of 2003.[1] In track & field, he was the DCIAA champion in the high jump with a jump of 6 ft 5 in. While attending at Dunbar, he was teammates with future Cleveland Browns kick return specialist and wide receiver, Joshua Cribbs.

High School football[]

Davis played tight end and safety but he also played wide receiver, kick returner, linebacker and defensive end. In his senior season he caught 21 passes for 511 yards and 5 touchdowns, despite missing three games with a deep bone bruise below his knee. He also caught three two point conversions and returned two kick offs and two punts for touchdowns. He has 35 receptions for 385 yards as a junior.

Football Awards[]

  • Selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
  • Rated as the third-best tight end in the nation by's Tom Lemming
  • A member of SuperPrep's Elite 50 and that publication's 39th-rated player nationally
  • A Mid-Atlantic all-region pick by SuperPrep and the third-best player (at any position) in the region
  • Second team All-USA by USA Today
  • Ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the nation and the seventh-best player (overall) in the Atlantic East by
  • Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia

College career[]

Davis played college football at the University of Maryland, where he majored in studio art. In 2003, Davis saw the most consistent action of any true freshman, playing in all thirteen contests. He had five receptions for 87 yards (11.8 avg) and led the kickoff coverage unit with eight solo tackles.

In 2004, he played in every game, starting at H-back against Northern Illinois, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. He finished second on the team with 27 catches for 441 yards and had 16.3 avg and three touchdowns.

In 2005, Davis was a Consensus All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection. He was a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. He started every game, leading the team with 51 receptions and the conference with 871 receiving yards (17.1 avg). His catch and run vs Florida State was impressive. 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. He was graded 82.5% for blocking consistency as he registered 67 knockdowns, including 18 blocks down field and had eight touchdown-resulting blocks.

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 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 such as Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey, Kyle Brady and Kellen Winslow II.

Professional career[]

2006 NFL Draft[]

Davis was selected 6th overall in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He was the top tight end prospect in the NFL Draft, partially due to a strong performance at the scouting combine.[2] He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Davis also broad-jumped 10'08", nearly a foot farther than the next-best tight end, Marcedes Lewis.

Leading up to the draft, Vernon, along with fellow prospects A. J. Hawk and Jeremy Bloom, appeared in ads for Under Armour's new line of football cleats, with the slogan Click Clack (I think you hear us coming).

All values from NFL Combine[4]
Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BPWonderlic
6 ft 3⅛ in 254 lb 4.38 s 1.51 s 2.59 s 4.17 s 7.00 s 42 in 10 ft 8 in 33 reps20[3]

San Francisco 49ers[]

2006 rookie season[]

Vernon's first reception in the NFL was a 31-yard touchdown catch, against the Arizona Cardinals on September 10, 2006.[5] He added a career-long 52-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on December 10 with a short catch followed by a long run. Davis played in ten games in the 2006 season due 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 three receiving touchdowns.

2007 season[]

In Week 3, Davis was injured while attempting to catch a pass from quarterback Alex Smith against the Steelers. Davis sprained his right knee and missed the next two games. Despite his injury and the 49ers' offensive ineptitude, Davis bettered most of the numbers from his rookie season. Even though his yards per reception diminished, he finished the season with 52 receptions for 509 yards and four touchdowns.

2008 season[]

After catching a seven-yard pass in the third quarter, Davis slapped Seahawks safety Brian Russell in the facemask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty, causing Coach Mike Singletary to bench him and then send him to the locker room for the game's remainder. The following game Vernon Davis leaped over a Cardinal defender and caught a pass from Shaun Hill resulting in a touchdown, his first of the season.[6] He started all 16 regular season games, and finished the season with 31 receptions for 358 yards, and two touchdowns.[7]

2009 season[]

Through week 11 of the season, Davis led the NFL with nine touchdown receptions, tied with wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne. In the final game of the season, he tied the all-time record for most touchdown receptions for a tight end in a single season (13),[8] sharing the record set by Antonio Gates in 2004. He was also selected to appear in his first Pro Bowl.

2010 season[]

Before the season, he was awarded a five-year contract extension for $37 million with $23 million guaranteed. The deal made Davis the league's highest paid tight end.[9] Against the Oakland Raiders in week six, he recorded his third straight game with a touchdown catch. Davis finished the season with 56 catches and 914 yards, resulting in 16.3 yards per catch.


Davis was a studio art major at Maryland.

Vernon is nicknamed Duke because he looks identical to his father, whose name is Duke. College teammates later changed his nickname to "The Duke," and "Cyborg", a nickname earned playing for the Maryland Terrapins.

Davis' younger brother, Vontae, is currently a cornerback for the Miami Dolphins.

Davis made a cameo appearance in the music video for the song "Get Lo" by Ron Artest and Mike Jones.

Davis also made an appearance on Pretty Wild.

Davis was named honorary captain of the Men's U.S. Olympic Curling team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[10] He attended most of the team's matches and is considered an ambassador for the game.

Ahead of the 2010 NFL match with the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in London, Davis announced that he is a fan of the English Premier League team West Ham United.


External links[]