LUDOWICI, Ga. (WSAV) – Long before he was being talked about as a potential early-round steal in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jamin Davis was starring for the Long County High School football team in Ludowici, Georgia.
“[Offenses] started running away from him,” former Blue Tide head coach Eric McNair remembers. “The next week, me and my defensive coordinator talked and said: ‘Look, we have got to put this kid inside.'”
In 2016, his senior season, Davis racked up 126 tackles, with nearly 90 of them being solo tackles. Bob Stoops, head coach for the University of Kentucky’s football program, offered Davis a scholarship, and the linebacker accepted.
Davis saw the field in every game of his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons, but he was not an every-down linebacker for the Wildcats.
“When it came to getting on the field, even if it was special team reps, I tried to put as much of a splash of ‘Jamin Davis’ that I could,” Davis explained.
This past season, it appears the patience and hard work behind the scenes paid off. Davis led the Wildcats in tackles (102) and was named First-Team All-SEC by Pro Football Focus.
Even still, casual football fans may not have been aware of Davis’ talent or considered him a top NFL prospect. That all changed after his Pro Day in late March. Davis ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds and turned scouts’ heads with a 42-inch vertical jump.
“In the back of my mind it was like ‘I told you so,'” Davis said with a smile.
Now, the 22-year-old is a lock to be drafted by an NFL team.
“It’s pretty crazy everything is unfolding the way I said it would,” Davis added. “I’ve kept the chip on my shoulder up until this point, and it’s going to remain that way.”
As Davis prepares for his life to change forever, he can’t help but reflect on his time in south Georgia.
“Just some of the lessons I’ve learned, being in areas like Long County and Hinesville,” Davis explained, standing on his old stomping grounds at the LCHS football stadium. “Taking everything I learned and ran with it. Being a human sponge. And now, I’m just showing the world who I am.”
Before he makes the jump to the pros, Davis had one message for the young athletes in Long County and Hinesville looking to follow in his footsteps.
“It doesn’t matter where you are. If you stay dedicated, trust your work, keep faith, and make sure you trust in the process and do everything right, you won’t be denied.”