LUDOWICI, Ga. (WSAV) – Most NFL players will tell you that there’s a difference between suiting up for their pro teams and suiting up for their high schools.

Linebacker Jamin Davis might be a professional, a first round draft pick that just completed his rookie year with the Washington Football Team, but there’s only one place where he competed alongside his friends, in front of his family and against his neighboring towns.

That place would be Long County High School.

Friday night, Long County showed Davis how much he meant to them, with a jersey retirement ceremony in his honor. No other Blue Tide football player will ever wear the number 25 again. It is the only jersey in Long County history to be retired.

Although Davis graduated Long County in 2017, he still carries a piece of the Blue Tide on the field with him every week, sporting a team wristband with his Washington uniform.

The town of Ludowici still means everything to Davis.

“I can’t really describe the feeling, it’s just one of those things that you work so hard and it feels good to know that someone is watching your accomplishments,” Davis said. “It’s just a really good feeling. No matter where you go in life you can never forget where you came from. That’s something I’m always honored to do.”

“No matter what’s going on around me, whenever I get the opportunity to do so, I always give back to [Long County.]”

Speaker after speaker talked about Davis, from his former football coaches to members of the town council, which presented Davis with a key to the city.

All the speakers talked about Davis the football player, but they also praised Davis the person, noting his relentless work ethic and high character.

Those speeches clearly left an impression on Davis.

“I honestly did not know what to expect and I didn’t even know what was going to happen, they didn’t tell me all that,” Davis said. “But it was definitely a blessing just to get such an honor like that and I’ve got people around here that are basically looking at me like a guy that’s doing everything the right way. That’s what you want to be remembered for. I’m just going to do the best I can going forward to just always be looked at that way.”

Davis said that he hopes he won’t be the last Long County football player to have his jersey retired. While it’s not every year that a first round draft pick comes out of Ludowici, this year’s Blue Tide team did something that not even Davis did when he was there: make the state playoffs.

The 2021 Blue Tide were the first team in school history to make it into the GHSA playoffs, finishing with a record of 5-6. They won as many games this past season as they did in the five prior seasons combined.

Davis kept up with the team’s progress, searching for scores on Friday night and calling the team prior to their playoff game.

Head coach Mike Pfiester says the athletes in Long County benefited from hearing Davis’ message.

“Its been huge for our guys,” Davis said. “I think the motto you saw on the video screen tonight; you can get anywhere from Ludowici. That’s the message for our guys is that it doesn’t really matter where you start, it’s that work ethic that Jamin talked about and it’s the commitment every day to get a little bit better and he’s obviously the epitome of that. So it’s huge for our kids.”

Davis just finished his rookie year with the Washington Football Team, playing in 16 games and starting eight of them. He had 76 tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.