Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis
No. 85     San Francisco 49ers
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-01-31) January 31, 1984
Place of birth: Washington, D.C.
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: Washington (DC) Dunbar
College: Maryland
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Debuted in 2006 for the San Francisco 49ers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2014
Receptions 415
Receiving yards 5,377
Receiving TDs 55
Stats at

Vernon Leonard Davis (born January 31, 1984) is an American football tight end for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted in the first round (6th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Upon entering the league, Davis signed to a five-year, $23 million deal that made him the highest paid tight end at the time. In 2009 Davis, co-led the NFL in touchdown receptions. In the 2011–12 NFL playoffs, Davis caught the game winning touchdown pass from Alex Smith against the New Orleans Saints, now referred to as "The Grab," or "The Catch III," in regard to "The Catch" by Dwight Clark in 1982 and "The Catch II" by Terrell Owens in 1999. Davis is considered one of the top tight ends in the NFL. In 2014 he was on holdout for particular reasons of players in the 2014-2015 season.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • High school football 2
    • Football awards 2.1
  • College career 3
  • Professional career 4
    • 2006 NFL Draft 4.1
  • 2006 Rookie Season 5
  • 2007 Season 6
  • 2008 Season 7
  • 2009 Season 8
  • 2010 Season 9
  • 2011 Season 10
  • 2012 Season 11
  • 2013 Season 12
  • Career Statistics 13
  • Personal 14
    • Personal Stock Offering 14.1
  • References 15
  • External links 16

Early life

Davis attended Truesdell Elementary School, Paul Public Charter School (Washington D.C.) for middle school, and Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track & field. Regarded as a four-star recruit by, Davis was listed as the No. 4 tight end prospect of the class of 2003.[2] While attending at Dunbar, he was teammates with future New York Jets kick return specialist and wide receiver, Joshua Cribbs.

In track & field, Davis recorded a personal best of 10.7 seconds in the 100 meters, and was the DCIAA champion in the high jump with a jump of 6 ft 6 in (198 cm). He was also a member of the 4x100m (43.68s) relay squad.

High school football

Davis played tight end and safety but he also played wide receiver, kick returner, linebacker and defensive end. In his senior season he caught 21 passes for 511 yards and 5 touchdowns, despite missing three games with a deep bone bruise below his knee. He also caught three two-point conversions and returned two kick offs and two punts for touchdowns. He had 35 receptions for 385 yards as a junior.

Football awards

  • Selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
  • Rated as the third-best tight end in the nation by's Tom Lemming
  • A member of SuperPrep's Elite 50 and that publication's 39th-rated player nationally
  • A Mid-Atlantic all-region pick by SuperPrep and the third-best player (at any position) in the region
  • Second team All-USA by USA Today
  • Ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the nation and the seventh-best player (overall) in the Atlantic East by
  • Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Vernon Davis
Washington , District of Columbia Dunbar 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 4.4 Jul 8, 2003 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 2 (TE)   Rivals: 4 (TE)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2003 Team Ranking". 

College career

Davis returns a kickoff during a 2005 game vs. the Clemson Tigers.

Davis enrolled in the University of Maryland, where he majored in studio art and played for the Maryland Terrapins football team. In 2003, Davis saw the most consistent action of any true freshman, playing in all thirteen contests. He had five receptions for 87 yards (11.8 avg) and led the kickoff coverage unit with eight solo tackles.

In 2004, he played in every game, starting at H-back against Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. He finished second on the team with 27 catches for 441 yards and had 16.3 avg and three touchdowns.

In 2005, Davis was a Consensus All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection. He was a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. He started every game, leading the team with 51 receptions and the conference with 871 receiving yards (17.1 avg). His six touchdown catches rank tenth on the school's season-record list. His 51 receptions also rank tenth on the Terps’ annual record chart while his 871 yards rank fifth. He was graded 82.5% for blocking consistency as he registered 67 knockdowns, including 18 blocks down field and had eight touchdown-resulting blocks.

Davis was heavily involved with working out in college. He set school strength records (in spring of 2005) for a tight end in the bench press (480 pounds), power-clean (380 pounds), index (824 pounds) and squat (685 pounds).[3] He finished his college career with 1371 yards on 83 receptions for 16.5 yards per catch, the best average of any first round tight end ever and more yards than other previous high first round tight ends such as Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey, Kyle Brady and Kellen Winslow II.

Professional career

2006 NFL Draft

Davis was selected 6th overall in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He joined Kellen Winslow Jr. as the fourth highest tight end ever drafted after Ron Kramer, (Green Bay, No. 4 in 1957) Mike Ditka (Chicago, No. 5 in 1961) and Riley Odoms (Denver, No. 5 in 1972). He was the top tight end prospect in the NFL Draft, partially due to a strong performance at the scouting combine.[4] He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Davis also broad-jumped 10'08", nearly a foot farther than the next-best tight end, Marcedes Lewis.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3¼ in 254 lb 4.38 s 1.51 s 2.59 s 4.17 s 7.00 s 42 in 10 ft 8 in 33 reps 20[5]
All values from NFL Combine[6]

2006 Rookie Season

Vernon's first reception in the NFL was a 31-yard touchdown catch, against the Arizona Cardinals on September 10, 2006.[7] He added a career-long 52-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on December 10 with a short catch followed by a long run. Davis played in ten games in the 2006 season due an injury he suffered on September 24, 2006. He sustained a hairline fracture to his left fibula, on a non-contact play against the Philadelphia Eagles, but returned on November 19 against the Seattle Seahawks. For the season, he had 265 yards receiving on 20 catches, averaging 13.2 yards per reception. He also had three receiving touchdowns.

2007 Season

In Week 3, Davis was injured while attempting to catch a pass from quarterback Alex Smith against the Steelers. Davis sprained his right knee and missed the next two games. Despite his injury and the 49ers' offensive ineptitude, Davis bettered most of the numbers from his rookie season. Even though his yards per reception diminished, he finished the season with 52 receptions for 509 yards and four touchdowns.

2008 Season

During October, after catching a seven-yard pass in the third quarter, Davis slapped Seahawks safety Brian Russell in the facemask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty, causing Coach Mike Singletary to bench him and then send him to the locker room for the game's remainder. After the game, Mike Singletary then spoke his famous "I want winners" rant. This resulted in Vernon Davis changing his attitude from himself, to the team. The following game Vernon Davis leaped over a Cardinal defender and caught a pass from Shaun Hill resulting in a touchdown, his first of the season.[8] He started all 16 regular season games, and finished the season with 31 receptions for 358 yards, and two touchdowns.[9]

Davis (left) and Michael Crabtree in 2009.

2009 Season

Through week 11 of the season, Davis led the NFL with nine touchdown receptions, tied with wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss. In the final game of the season, he tied the all-time record for most touchdown receptions for a tight end in a single season (13),[10] sharing the record set by Antonio Gates in 2004; that record stood until 2011, when it was broken by Rob Gronkowski. He was also selected to appear in his first Pro Bowl.

2010 Season

Before the season, he was awarded a five-year contract extension for $37 million with $23 million guaranteed. The deal made Davis the league's highest paid tight end.[11] Against the Oakland Raiders in week six, he recorded his third straight game with a touchdown catch. Davis finished the season with 56 catches and 914 yards, resulting in 16.3 yards per catch.

2011 Season

Davis had 67 receptions for 792 yards with 6 touchdowns that year, helping the 49ers win the NFC West and make the postseason for the first time since the 2002 season. In the playoffs in the divisional round against the New Orleans Saints, he had seven receptions for 180 yards, breaking Kellen Winslow's record (166) for most yards by a tight end in a playoff game.[12] He scored two touchdowns, and on the game-winning drive, he had a critical 47-yard reception that put the 49ers in a position to tie the game. With nine seconds remaining, Davis caught the game winning touchdown pass from Alex Smith, now referred to as "Vernon Post". Davis caught three passes for 112 yards and another two touchdown against the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game, but the 49ers lost 20–17 in overtime.[13]

2012 Season

During the 2012 season, Davis caught 41 passes for 548 yards and 5 touchdowns. The 49ers would eventually enter the NFC Championship for the second straight season to face off against the Atlanta Falcons. Despite trailing 0-17, the 49ers won the NFC Championship game against the Falcons 28-24, allowing the 49ers to enter the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. In Super Bowl XLVII Davis had 6 catches for 104 yards in the loss to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.

2013 Season

Davis spent more time at WR due to the lack of depth at the position heading into preseason as many were injured or physically unable to perform,[14] notably Michael Crabtree who was out until November with a ruptured achilles tendon.[15]

Davis began the 2013 season much like the 2012 playoffs ended: as a trusted and reliable target for Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, catching his first touchdown pass of the season in the first quarter of the first game, at Candlestick Park on September 8, 2013. He added two touchdown receptions in the 2013 NFC Playoffs, one coming against the Green Bay Packers in a Wild Card Round victory, and another in a Divisional Round victory against the Carolina Panthers.

Career Statistics

NFL Games Receiving
Season Team GP Rec Yards Avg Long TD
2006 San Francisco 49ers 10 20 265 13.3 52T 3
2007 San Francisco 49ers 14 52 509 9.8 31 4
2008 San Francisco 49ers 16 31 358 11.5 57 2
2009 San Francisco 49ers 16 78 965 12.4 73T 13
2010 San Francisco 49ers 16 56 914 16.3 66T 7
2011 San Francisco 49ers 16 67 792 11.8 44 6
2012 San Francisco 49ers 16 41 548 13.4 53 5
2013 San Francisco 49ers 15 52 850 16.3 64T 13
Career San Francisco 49ers 404 5284 13.1 73 55
Postseason Team GP Rec Yards Avg Long TD
2011 San Francisco 49ers 2 10 292 29.2 73 4
2012 San Francisco 49ers 3 12 254 21.2 44 1
2013 San Francisco 49ers 3 5 54 10.8 28 2


Davis visits service members in an undisclosed Southwest Asian location. March 3, 2010.


Davis was a studio art major at Maryland.

Davis is nicknamed Duke because he looks identical to his father, whose name is Duke. College teammates later changed his nickname to "The Duke," and "Cyborg", a nickname earned playing for the Maryland Terrapins.

Davis' brother, Vontae, is currently a cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts.

Davis' brother, Michael Davis, was arrested in the Petworth area of Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 27, 2012 for two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed. Michael is suspected of three similar attacks for which there is an investigation but no charge.[17]

Davis made a cameo appearance in the music video for the song "Get Lo" by Ron Artest and Mike Jones.

Davis also made an appearance on Pretty Wild.

Davis is an avid curling fan. He hosted an event for his charity in San Jose, CA in which the event was curling. Davis was named honorary captain of the Men's U.S. Olympic Curling team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[18] He attended most of the team's matches and is considered an ambassador for the game.

Ahead of the 2010 game against the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in London, Davis announced that he is a fan of the English premiership team West Ham United.

In late 2010, Davis founded Modern Class Design (MCD) with business partner Antone Barnes. Modern Class Design is a full-service fine arts and interior design company that offers comprehensive design services for homes and commercial spaces including interiors and landscape architecture. Vernon Davis also owns a chain of Jamba Juice Franchises.

In December 2012, Davis opened Gallery 85 on Santana Row in San Jose, Ca., an art gallery for new and emerging artists giving them access to high end exposure.[19]

In a televised Thanksgiving 2014 advertisement, Davis revealed that one of his favorite foods was a yam. [20]

Personal Stock Offering

In October 2013, it was reported that Vernon Davis would be offering stock in his future earnings via a venture with Fantex, Inc as part of a new financial instrument being sold by Fantex. Davis planned on offering a 10% share of all future earnings from his brand marketing company to Fantex, which would then turn around and divide it into shares of a tracking stock that can be traded within their own exchange.[21] Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was originally scheduled to be the first athlete to sell such a stock, but his offering was postponed after injuries curtailed his 2013 season.

In January 2014, the Vernon Davis/Fantex stock offering was confirmed. The proposed offering was 421,100 shares, valued at $10 each, for a total of $4.2 million.[22]


  1. ^ "Top Five Tight Ends in the NFL". Yahoo. 
  2. ^ "Tight ends 2003". February 5, 2003. 
  3. ^ "Super Bowl Spotlight: Vernon Davis". Muscel & Fitness. 
  4. ^ Colston, Chris (April 7, 2006), "Davis latest to break TE mold",  
  5. ^ Wilson, Aaron (April 24, 2006), "V. Davis' game a work of art", 
  6. ^ "Vernon Davis Draft Profile",, retrieved December 26, 2009 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ > Players > Vernon Davis
  10. ^ 49ers Tight End Vernon Davis Says His Best Work Lies Ahead, AOL News, September 12, 2010.
  11. ^ 49ers make Davis the NFL's highest paid tight end, The Sacramento Bee, September 12, 2010.
  12. ^ Hoffman, Ben (January 17, 2012). "Davis’s Performance Recalls Winslow’s ‘Epic’ Day". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Giants stun 49ers with OT FG to set up Super rematch with Patriots". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012. 
  14. ^ Vernon Davis Taking Reps At WR on YouTube
  15. ^ Sando, Mike. "Vernon Davis Ready to fill void". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  16. ^ . NFL 
  17. ^ Jackman, Tom (April 28, 2012). "Michael Davis Held Without Bond in Petworth Hammer Attacks". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ "NFL star named honorary captain for men's Olympic team". January 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ Yahoo Financial News . 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Wall Street Journal . 
  22. ^ New York Times . 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from • ESPN • Yahoo! Sports • • Pro-Football-Reference • Rotoworld
  • Official website
  • Vernon Davis on Twitter
  • 49ers Player Bio
  • Modern Class Design Website
  • University of Maryland Terrapins bio
Preceded by
Mike Ditka 1961, (12)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Touchdowns in a Single Season (Tied with Antonio Gates)
2009, (13)
Succeeded by
Rob Gronkowski 2011, (17)