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'It's a bittersweet moment': Davis leaves a lasting legacy at Georgia
Athens, Ga. — Georgia senior nose tackle Jordan Davis calls the University of Georgia “home.”
It’s a place where he has spent the past few years growing and developing as an athlete, but also as a person.
The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs will host Charleston Southern on Saturday, Nov. 20. Georgia will celebrate Senior Day and will honor Davis, among many of the program’s veteran players.
It’s expected to be his final home game as a Bulldog, which he refers to as a “bittersweet” moment.
“Four years ago, you hear a lot about how this journey ends fast,” Davis said. “But at the end of the day, it’s one of those moments you have to savor and appreciate being a part of the program.”
Off the field impact
Davis has meant so much in a variety of ways.
He’s one of the most beloved players in program history and he makes an impact on and off the field.
The 6-foot-6, 340-pound nose tackle enjoys participating in events on-campus and making friends that are in the regular UGA student body.
“I’m taking the time to actually be a student,” Davis said. “I like going to events around campus and interacting with people. Not just football player and not just athletes.”
Davis wants to be immersed in this type of lifestyle because he knows it doesn’t last forever.
“I want to make sure at the end of the day, I squeezed as much as I could out of this college experience,” he said. “You only get to do it once.”
Davis considers Athens and the University of Georgia a place where he can always come back to.
“There are different forks in the road, but at the end of the day, all roads lead home, and that’s to Georgia for me,” he said.
A dream come true
Davis isn’t a selfish player, but he’s a guy that is going to do whatever is best for the benefit of the team.
He’s only accounted for 14 total tackles and two sacks this season; however, he’s considered a favorite for the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Award, respectively.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart got a gem in Davis, who gives it his all every day in practice.
“People say pressure builds diamonds or busts pipes, and I want to be one of the diamonds,” Davis said.
He was a 3-star prospect out of high school and wasn’t recruited heavily by many Power 5 programs.
Since arriving on campus, Davis has turned into one of the most physical specimens in the nation. It shows on tape and film and most opposing defenses have to throw double blocks at him, which he eats up. Davis is a big part of why Georgia’s defense is so dominant this season. He is currently projected as a first-round draft pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, per ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.
“It’s something I never expected in a million years,” he said. “It’s an honor. I’m blessed. It’s one of those things you think about.”
It’s really a dream come true for Davis, but he credits everything back to “home.”
“It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m glad I chose this village,” Davis said.
That’s the word Smart described this senior class as.
“They've been through a lot,” he added. “They've had some ups and downs. High-quality leaders.”
Davis, who’s a fourth-year, would agree to Smart’s sentiment of this senior class being ‘resilient.’
However, he would add another word that would describe his veteran teammates.
“Tough and resilient,” Davis said. “We came in, there have been ebbs and flows throughout the seasons we played. It’s one of those things, I wish we had a full senior class.”
Davis was a part of Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class, which doesn’t have all of its members still enrolled. A few of them have transferred out and others have moved on to the NFL.
“Georgia isn’t for everybody,” he said. “But if it is for you‚ and you want to be coached hard and you want to do something special, then this is the place for you.”
Regardless, he understands why some of his former classmates have moved on, but knows he made the right decision.
“You have to make the decision that’s best for you,” Davis said. “For me personally, I was committed to the ‘G.’ Loyalty is real here. It’s deep in the aspect of my life. I am really loyal to the places that are loyal to me. Georgia’s always been there for me, no matter what. It was even through my recruitment process. Coach [Tray] Scott has always been there for me.”
Finishing the drill
The main reason Davis decided to return for his senior season was because of fellow senior defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt. The pair wanted to go out on top and win a national championship before graduating. It was something that neither Davis or Wyatt could pass up.
“When JD and I decided to come back, we wanted to have a Sony Michel/Nick Chubb type of year,” Wyatt said. “We just weren't finished. It's our last year, and we just knew we couldn't leave. With the leaders we had in the room, we knew we could make something great.”
Wyatt made the decision first and that influenced Davis to come back for one last ride.
“He told to just keep working, pushing the team, pushing the freshmen, sophomores, juniors,” Wyatt said. “Everybody bought into the plan and look where we are at right now."
Davis also ‘loves’ his the rest his teammates, often giving them shoutouts on social media and in media press conferences.
“This year has been a connection, but we don't really call it connection we call it love,” he admitted. “That is how it is with the team in the locker room it is love."
Smart eluded to that Davis and Wyatt got the ball rolling when they decided to both return.
“Those guys coming back kind of put everything in motion,” Smart said."
Here is the video from Davis’ Monday presser conference: