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Vernon Leonard Davis (born January 31, 1984 in Washington, D.C.marker) is a professional American football tight end for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He was drafted in the 1st round (6th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Upon entering the league, Davis signed to a 5-year, $23 million deal that made him the highest paid tight end at the time. He joined current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. as the third highest tight end ever drafted after Ron Kramer (Green Bay, No. 4 in 1957) and Mike Ditka (Chicago, No. 5 in 1961).

Early life

Davis attended Dunbar High Schoolmarker in Washington, D.C., and was a letterman in football, basketball, and track & field. In track & field, he was the DCIAA champion in the high jump with a jump of 6'5".

High School football

Davis played primarily 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. He, however, missed 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 has 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
  • First team All-Met by The Washington Post
  • Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia

College career

Davis played college football at the University of Marylandmarker. 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 vs. Northern Illinois Universitymarker, Duke Universitymarker, Georgia Techmarker, Clemson Universitymarker, Virginia Techmarker and Wake Forest Universitymarker. 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 catch and run vs Florida State was impressive. 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 (465 pounds), power-clean (355 pounds), index (797 pounds) and squat (685 pounds). He finished his college career with 1371 yards on 83 receptions for a gaudy 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 Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey, Kyle Brady and Kellen Winslow II.

He majored in art studio.

NFL career

2006 NFL Draft

Davis was selected 6th overall in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He was the top tight end prospect in the NFL Draft, partially due to a strong performance at the scouting combine. He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds.

Leading up to the draft, Vernon, along with fellow prospects A. J. Hawk and Jeremy Bloom, appeared in ads for Under Armour's new line of football cleats, with the slogan Click Clack (I think you hear us coming).

Pre-draft measureables
Wt 40y 20ss 3-cone Vert BP Wonderlic
254 lb* 4.38s* 4.17s* 7.00s* 42"* 33* 8

San Francisco 49ers

2006 rookie season

Vernon's first reception in the NFL was a 31 yard TD catch, against the Arizona Cardinals on September 10, 2006. He added a career-long 52 yard TD against the Packers on December 10 on a short catch and long run after the catch. Davis played in 10 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 3 receiving touchdowns.

2007 season

In Week 3, Davis was injured while attempting to catch a pass from quarterback Alex Smith vs. 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 4 touchdowns.

2008 season

After catching a 7 yard pass in the third quarter, Davis slapped Seahawks safety Brian Russell in the facemask, resulting in a 15 yard penalty. Coach Mike Singletary then benched him and sent him to the locker room for the remainder of the game. 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. He started all 16 regular season games, and finished the season with 31 receptions for 358 yards, and two touchdowns.

2009 season

Through week 8 of the season he leads the entire NFL with 7 touchdown receptions.


Davis was an art studio major at Maryland. Vernon 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.

He is the son of Jacqueline Davis.

Davis' younger brother, Vontae, is currently a cornerback for the Miami Dolphins.

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


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