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Jets Select South Dakota State RB Isaiah Davis in the 5th Round

Jackrabbits Tailback Led FCS in Rushing Yards and Was Named a First-Team All-American in 2023


With their second of three picks (No. 173 overall) in the fifth round, the Jets selected South Dakota State running back Isaiah Davis.

The Jets acquired the pick from the San Francisco 49ers, moving back from No. 129 (Round 4) for a pair of picks in Round 5 – No. 173 and No. 176.

Davis (6-2, 218), 22, played 46 games (36 starts) over four seasons for the Jackrabbits and rushed for 4,548 yards and 50 touchdowns. Over the last two seasons, he ran for 3,029 yards (1,451 in 2022, 1,578 in 2023) and 23 scores. He was twice named First-Team All-MVFC (2022, 23) and was honored as a First-Team All-American in 2023.

"I can't put it into words man," Davis said about the moment the Jets called. "My hands started shaking and it was an unbelievable feeling. I am so excited to be a Jet and be in New York. It is really a dream come true."

A hard-nosed runner, Davis seemingly got stronger each season, with 12 of his 24 career 100-yard rushing games coming in the FCS playoffs. The Jackrabbits' won back-to-back national championships in 2022 and '23 and in their eight postseason games over the last two seasons, he averaged 127.8 yards rushing and scored 12 total touchdowns.

"I am a versatile and downhill back," Davis said. "I feel like I can run well between the tackles and running power and getting downhill. That is what I am most used to doing, but I personally am going to find a way to impact the game. I am excited about what I have accomplished and all I have worked for this past year, and now I am going to bring it all to the Jets."

As a freshman, Davis dominated from the moment he stepped on campus in Brookings. In 2020, he ran for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games and earned Freshman All-American honors. He received offers from teams at the FBS level as a sophomore but remained committed to building a championship culture at SDSU.

"I didn't want to chase the money at the end of the day," Davis said. "The money is going to come when it comes but I was looking to win a championship and we ended up going back-to-back. When I went to SDSU, I made a commitment to my brothers and coaches to try and win a national championship and that's what I did."

The Jets addressed offense with each of their first five picks in the draft – T Olu Fashanu (Rd. 1, No. 11 overall), WR Malachi Corley (Rd. 1, No. 65), RB Braelon Allen (Rd. 4, No. 134), QB Jordan Travis (Rd. 5, No. 171) and Davis.

Davis and Allen join a running back room that features star tailback Breece Hall and 2023 fifth-round pick (No. 143) Israel Abanikanda. Prior to the draft, Davis did his training in Texas where he met Hall.

"He seems like a really chill and genuine dude," Davis said. "He is really hard worker. It will be great to learn from someone like him who has excelled really well. I am looking forward to it."

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