MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) The University of Alabama had 56 former players on NFL active rosters this past season, the most of any FBS program.
Guys like Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, CJ Mosley and Jonathan Allen are just a few players who have carried on the tradition of Alabama players being selected year after year in the NFL Draft.
The next player looking to carry on that tradition is Meridian native Raekwon Davis.
“I’m a hard worker, I got a high motor, I’m trustworthy, I’m accountable for anything," Davis said when asked to give his best pitch to an NFL scout. "I’m just going to come in and work…give you my best.”
Davis is now one day away from the NFL Draft. Everything he has achieved from winning a National Championship to participating in this year’s NFL Combine has led to this moment.
“It feels good, it feels great. All the hard work I put in is finally paying off," Davis said. "I thank my mentor and the people that helped guide me through the way.”
Since the college football season ended, Davis had been training in California for the NFL Combine which took place at the end of April.
“It was great. You got to be around all those scouts, showing off your talent, doing drills just doing stuff to get the scouts to get a good look at you," Davis shared. "I had a fun time, met different players, got to know some of the coaches, some of the GMs, some of the scouts some of the owners and stuff like that.”
Leading up to the draft he has also been in contact with various NFL teams.
“There have been several teams it would be so hard to name," Davis said. "The Cowboys have been one of them, the 49ers have definitely been one of them but you never know how the draft might work.”
It’s a different experience for the defensive lineman who received numerous division one offers in high school, with his very first offer sticking out from the rest.
“I went to a camp at Alabama the summer after my ninth grade season. One of the coaches came and talked to Coach Hill and said 'Nick Saban wants to talk to ya’ll' and I’m thinking in my head “they’re not going to give me an offer so why are we about to talk to him?," Davis explained. "I was so nervous...we get up there, I sat down with Coach Saban and he’s just talking. Everything was out of my mind and all I heard was 'we’re going to give him an offer' and I just bust out in tears.”
The scholarship from Coach Saban, earning All-SEC honors and receiving an invite to this year’s combine: These things weren’t just handed to Davis. They were the results of years of hard work that have now led him to the NFL Draft.
“It was a plan from the beginning with him and he stuck to the plan. He did everything he was supposed to do," Davis' former Meridian defensive line coach Demetrius Hill said. "He worked hard and stayed focused on what he had to do and now he’s going to be rewarded for it…that’s a great feeling for me to see the steps that he made to become a young man.”
There are 32 different cities Davis could end up in, but he shared that no matter where he goes he will make sure to always represent Mississippi and especially the Queen City.
“It’s huge to me because I want to be someone the kids look up to. I want to be a great role model to everybody here.”