Davis Makes NFL Debut Alongside Two Former Wildcats
By Dan Ryan
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A day the Jacksonville Jaguars would like to forget was a memorable one for Ryan Davis and Bethune-Cookman football.
Davis made his professional debut Sunday, joining Jaguar teammate Rashean Mathis and Chicago Bears Eric Weems in making this first time since 1978 three former Wildcats have played in the same NFL game, one that saw the Bears hand the Jaguars their worst home loss in franchise history in a 41-3 drubbing at EverBank Field.
Activated from the Jaguars' practice squad, the 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player Of The Year became the 39th former Wildcat to advance to the NFL when he entered the game on the third play from scrimmage.
Davis had no official stats as he saw approximately 20 snaps of action primarily on third downs and pass rushing situations.
"It felt good to be activated, but it's tough with the loss," Davis said. "I know my work isn't done. It's a great honor to represent Bethune-Cookman on the next level."
Mathis, who had six tackles and lined up against Devon Hester while playing cornerback, was pleased when he heard Davis would be playing Sunday and also appreciated what it meant to have three former Wildcats on the same field.
"I was excited for him," said Mathis, a second-round draft pick in 2003 out of Bethune-Cookman. "It was awesome and legendary having all of us out there today. When you look at the big picture, it's a success story for Bethune-Cookman. I was a Wildcat before I was a Jaguar."
Weems, a 2010 Pro Bowler while with the Atlanta Falcons, delivered one big play on special teams for the Bears when he downed a punt on the Jacksonville 3-yard line in the first half. Like Davis and Mathis, he appreciated the Wildcat moment.
"It's great knowing guys who've work hard from the ground up get where they deserve to be," Weems said.
The last time three Wildcats were on the same NFL field was in 1978 when Larry Little and Charles Cornelius were on the Miami Dolphins when they faced Terry Anderson and the Washington Redskins.