SANFORD, Fla. - Getting one’s old high school jersey retired, how cool is that? That’s what happened with now Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis. The ceremony in the basketball gym at his old high school was pretty cool. His efforts that led to that point took place long before, however.
Prior to being a star, before he even signed to play with UCF, Davis did things a little bit differently than many other players. It was not enough for him to just workout, hit the weights, or watch films of himself and opponents. His speech may not even place his efforts into perspective either. Still, the expression on Davis’s face shows that he’s proud of how far he has come.
From talking to those that have been around Davis, his inner strength of commitment to being better each day is not really definable. What it does define is that sometimes football players take a little longer to hit their stride and become big-time players.
Coming out of Sanford (Fla.) Seminole, Davis was not a household name. He did not have the offers from programs like Alabama, Georgia, or Ohio State. There were no Power Five offers, in fact. What he did have was an opportunity at nearby UCF, and Davis took full advantage.
Is he the norm? Of course not. Recruiting rankings matter, more often than not. It’s just not an automatic, however, as some may like to think. Hats off to Davis from transforming himself from a long and lean frame with potential to becoming a physical presence and one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. He did it the old fashioned way.
Davis still works his craft at UCF during the offseason, and it’s not uncommon for anyone to see him walking around in between workout sessions. It’s pretty cool when someone as decorated as Davis still sticks to the same routine that got him his big break. Most NFL players tend to stay away from fans and media once they make it big in the NFL. Davis has done the opposite.
Good for him. Good for UCF. Staying around the UCF campus and practice facility, he’s a great example for the current UCF players that are coming up. Reaching one’s dreams of one day cashing in on the NFL riches is possible if they work their craft and stick to the plan. Davis did it. Why can’t they?
Hats off to Davis. He’s now a dominant NFL player that’s scored four touchdowns during an NFL Playoff Game and likely headed for a massive contract in the near future.