Ryan Davis is a Tampa-native, former high school basketball superstar and current defensive end leo ready to take on the upcoming season. He attended college at Bethune-Cookman and was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Before the 2012 NFL Draft, Davis was signed by the Jaguars as a free agent. After being signed to the team’s practice squad twice, Davis has finally made his way onto the active roster. You’ll also never catch him without a smile on his face.
You’re not at practice and you’re not at a game. Where will we find you?’
You’ll find me at a movie theatre most likely. I just saw “Ant Man.”
Favorite places to eat/drink around town?
The Lemon Bar, it’s great on a hot day with your tank top right on the beach.
I was pretty good in high school. I averaged 19 points my senior year. I wasn’t getting the looks I wanted, so I switched my direction over to football. I only played one year of football in high school. I won two dunk contests in Tampa, too.
What was the first thing you bought when you signed your first NFL contract?
A car. I needed a car coming out of college. I went and bought a 2010 Chevy Impala and I was happy. That thing, it treated me right. It was great on gas and the music was loud. I was fine with that.
We’re tired of losing. We really want to win, and we’re going to be hungry to win this year.
Tell us a little about your charity involvement.
It’s important for me to reach out and give back. I just came from Tampa where I hosted a Back to School Bash where we gave away over 550 backpacks filled with school supplies. We ran out quickly because the crowd was amazing, so next year I’m looking to do it even bigger. I want to give the kids the tools they need to focus on class.
Who is your #1 fan?
Easy, my mom. She’s been my support system since day one. My father passed away when I was 13, and he never got to see me excel in high school and college, so my mom has been there. I can always spot her in the crowd and she brags about me all the time.
How was it like being on the practice squad and now on the roster?
I was happy to take advantage of the opportunity. Sitting back on the practice squad and knowing you can play with these guys, that’s probably the hardest part. You think, “when am I gonna get my chance,” so when it came, I’m staying here. Last year was just a testament to the hard work I’ve been putting in. I’m just trying to do better this year.
Any interesting hobbies?
I go to movies, hang out with friends. That’s about it, it’s how I stay out of trouble. Naps, too.
What’s your favorite sport to watch besides football?
Basketball. My two favorite teams are the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat. We don’t have a team in Tampa.
Next travel destination?
I’d go to Vegas. I’ve never been and I think it would be a fun trip with me and my closest friends. It wouldn’t be a “Hangover” type trip, but I think it would be fun.
Name something you love about the city of Jacksonville.
It’s like home. It’s like a bigger Tampa to me. I went to college in Daytona, so I’m used to this area.
What’s one thing you want to tell the Jacksonville fans?
I really want to tell the fans that we’re tired of losing. We really want to win, and we’re going to be hungry to win this year. You can definitely watch a team this year that’s going to give it their all, every Sunday. We’re a group that’s fed up with the stigma that Jacksonville is behind. I think it’s gonna be a real good year for our team.
By Devin Rawiszer and Charles White