Surgery for Top Linebacker Prospect

Bill Huber

GREEN BAY, Wis. – A top inside linebacker prospect is coming to Green Bay.

Unfortunately for him, it’s for surgery.

Appalachian State’s Akeem Davis-Gaither will be in Green Bay to have surgery with Dr. Robert Anderson on Tuesday. He suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during the third game of the season against North Carolina. He played through the injury to have his best season with 104 tackles. He played in all 14 games as well as the Senior Bowl.

“It was a hard decision whether to have the surgery at the end of the season or not,” Davis-Gaither said at the Scouting Combine. “I wanted to play on it and help my team out. And the results, they got me here, so it was a small decision. I just tell them I have the surgery Tuesday with Dr. Anderson, and I’ll be back in five to six weeks before the draft. I’ll be healthy by the time the draft comes.”

At 6-foot-1 1/2 and 224 pounds, Davis-Gaither is an undersized playmaker. As a senior, he had 14.5 tackles for losses, five sacks and eight passes defensed. He had one interception and one blocked kick – both of which came in an upset victory over North Carolina. He was excellent in coverage and as a blitzer. According to Sports Info Solutions, he allowed 23-of-49 passing his final two seasons and had 31 pressures as a senior.

“Just my ability to run and hit, sideline to sideline,” he said of the strength to his game. “My ability to pass rush, cover the tight ends and running back. My ability to play any position.”

He was coached at Appalachian State by former Packers linebacker D.J. Smith.

Because of the injury, his Combine was limited to doing the bench press. He put up 21 reps of 225 pounds, tied for fifth-most among the linebackers. 

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