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Art Davis (American football)

 

Art Davis (American football)

Art Davis
Davis from The 1963 Blue Print
No. 22, 45
Halfback/ DB
Personal information
Date of birth: (1934-11-29) November 29, 1934
Place of birth: Clarksdale, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Clarksdale (MS)
College: Mississippi State
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 1956 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1956
Games Played/ Started 9/ 0
Rushing Atts/ Yds/ TDs 5/ 6/ 0
Receptions/ Yds/ TDs 1/ 9/ 0
Punt Returns/ Yds 5/ 6
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com
Stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Arthur Ganong "Art" Davis (born November 29, 1934) is a former American football player who played a single season in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Early life

Davis was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi where he attended Clarksdale High School.[1] He received a football scholarship to Mississippi State after missing his entire senior high school football season breaking his leg in the first game.[1]

Football career

At Mississippi State, Art Davis began his college football career starting as a true freshman defensive back in 1952 against defending National Champion, University of Tennessee. In 1953, Davis caught a touchdown pass from Jackie Parker to tie Ole Miss 7–7, knocking the Rebels out of Cotton Bowl contention. In 1954, Davis was voted the Southeastern Conference's Player of the Year (Nashville Banner, Atlanta Constitution) where he scored 10 touchdowns and grabbed 4 interceptions playing both ways. In that '54 campaign, Davis scored four touchdowns against LSU (3 rushing, 1 interception return) in a 25–0 win at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. In 1955, he was named first team All America by FWAA/Look Magazine and their National Player of the Year. He was voted as the top defensive back and 2nd best running back in the SEC (Atlanta Constitution). During the '55 season, playing with a separated shoulder and injured knee at Auburn, Davis ran for a touchdown, passed for another score, had a 54 yard punt and made 11 unassisted tackles in a 27–26 loss.

Davis played in the Senior Bowl, Blue-Gray Game (Gray team captain, 2 interceptions) and College All-Star Game. He also ran track and was nosed out by a photo-finish in the SEC Championship 100 yard dash. His best time in the 100 yard dash was 9.8 seconds. In 2004, he was honored as an SEC Football Legend at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011, Davis was honored as a Mississippi Football Legend by the Jackson Touchdown Club. Davis is also a member of the Mississippi State and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Davis was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1956 NFL Draft.[1] He was limited during his rookie season in 1956 by an injured shoulder which he suffered in the College All-Star Game vs. the Cleveland Browns as well as a knee injury he sustained in college and again with the Steelers.[2] The knee injury would also sideline him for the 1957 season.[2] He announced his retirement from football prior to the 1958 season.[3]

After professional football, Davis started his coaching career at Biloxi (Miss.) High School then became an assistant coach at LSU (under Coach Paul Dietzel), Georgia Tech (under Coach Bobby Dodd) and the University of Texas (1963 National Champions). Under Coach Darrell Royal, the Longhorns beat Navy, 28–6, in the 1964 Cotton Bowl.

Davis's older brother, Harper, was an all-SEC, four-year starter at Mississippi State and is a 2002 SEC Football Legend inductee. Harper is also a member of the Mississippi State and State of Mississippi Sports Halls of Fame. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Dons, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers and was later the Head Football Coach at Millsaps College (1962–1986) in Jackson, Mississippi.

Personal

Davis married Frances Habig of Jackson, Mississippi in 1956, and they were married 58 years until her death on November 5, 2014.[4] Art resides in Wilsonville, Oregon and spends much of his time watercolor painting .

Davis was a volunteer assistant coach at Lee Academy from 1995-1998. Lee Academy, a 4A private school in Clarksdale, MS was a state title contender throughout the 1990s. Davis was viewed as a mentor to the players who respected him for his experience as a former NFL draftee.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Art Davis bio". databaseFootball. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Steelers lose Davis already". Pittsburgh Press. July 31, 1957. p. 39. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Steelers' Art Davis Quits Pro Football". Victoria (Texas) Advocate. September 5, 1958. p. 8. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Smith, Chester L. (January 9, 1956). "Art Davis to Hit Main Road". Pittsburgh Press. p. 20. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
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