Davis to turn pro
I’m having to leave the guys behind at UCF and I’m feeling like I’m leaving the fans at UCF, but at he end of the day I feel like I have to do what’s best for me and my family.”
Davis, who was named to the All-AAC first team on Wednesday, has become one of the best receivers in college football in his three seasons as a starter at UCF, is having his best year as a Knight with 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Knights are 9-3 and still await their bowl invitation, which will be announced Sunday.
Davis said, “as of right now,” he plans to play in the bowl game.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound athlete hinted earlier this year this could be his final college season. He made the most of his opportunities. At UCF, Davis has been instrumental in the Knights’ run to prominence, only losing four times in the 38 games he has played.
During his UCF career, he has 152 catches, 2,447 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Davis’ younger brother, Jordan Davis, a senior at Sanford Seminole, is poised to sign a National Letter of Intent to follow in his footsteps with the Knights. Jordan is a 6-foot-4, 235- pound tight end who could end up playing on the offensive line in college. He sat out most of his senior season with a torn ACL, but returned to play in the Seminoles’ games.
Coaches have often said Gabe Davis is one of the hardest workers they have ever coached. UCF coach Josh Heupel said after the Knights’ opening game this season that Davis is a “pro,” offering a little foreshadowing to the inevitable.
Davis said he is fortunate to have been able to steer clear of off-field distractions and temptations and he has also had NFL people in his life that have been a great influence.
“I’ve sacrificed a lot. I worked to be able to do something like this, but to actually be able to do something like this, it’s crazy,” Davis said. “I was just always trying to be different than the people who are around me, people who I was competing against … just trying to get in extra film study, trying to work on my craft the best way I could on the field, trying to put in extra work.
“Just doing a lot of things you have to be able to sacrifice in college to be able to play at a level that I want to play at. You have to sacrifice things outside of football — things that seemed fun at the time — due to the fact that my goal was to make it to the NFL.
“It’s definitely a great feeling to know that I was able to be disciplined enough to control myself and be able to put my all into football and now I’m able to declare for final seven the draft.”
He’s worked out with NFL players like former Seminole star Ray Ray Armstrong, a linebacker with the New Orleans Saints earlier this season but now a free agent, as well as other pros like Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley — via Tom Shaw’s athletic training, as well as his personal NFL trainer Bert Whigham.
“I know how it is to be a pro,” Davis said. “I’ve been around pros since I was in high school. I’ve been able to see the way they carry themselves, see the way they eat and see the way they build for the game of football.
“I’ve had great examples in front of me to know how to be able to be the best when it comes to being a pro. They’ve inspired me to be the player I am today.”
Davis will await an invite to the NFL Combine.
“I’m just excited to start training more and be able to live my dream, hopefully,” he said.
He said his mom, Alana Davis, had also been prepared for the news for some time, but it still did not change her reaction to the finality of the decision.
“Of course she starts crying and stuff. She’s real emotional when it comes the that type of thing,” Gabe Davis said. “It’s kind of surreal to her as well.”
Gabe Davis is having his best year as a Knight with 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 TDs.