Troy Davis Could Be a Football Late Bloomer

Troy Davis grew up in New York City. Jamaica, Queens to be precise.

So were his childhood days spent rooting for Curtis Martin and the Jets or for Tiki Barber and the Giants?

The answer: neither.

"I didn't grow up watching football," the undrafted free agent rookie linebacker said. "I actually didn't start getting into the NFL until I got into college."

Davis loved to play basketball as a young kid, but his mom thought he would have a better chance of succeeding as a football player. So in fifth grade, he turned over the basketball, threw on a pair of cleats and moved down to Georgia to play football.

"I kind of found a home in football," he said.

A decade later, it turns out his mom may have been on to something.

The 22-year-old says he has "grown miles" throughout training camp, and he displayed just that during Tuesday morning's practice as he made plays all over the field.

In 7-on-7's, QB Geno Smith threw a ball over the middle of the field, and the 6'2", 251-pounder leaped as high as he could to force an incompletion with the deflection and almost coming up with an incredible interception.

"I wasn't sure if I could get it or not," Davis assessed. "I surprised myself when I got up that high and batted it down."

Several minutes later, this time in 11-on-11's, he came free on a blitz and showed off his wheels as he chased Smith out of the pocket toward the right sideline.

"The hole opened up and I just ran full speed," he said, "and ran toward Geno just to let him know I was there."

Davis also had a strip-sack of QB Matt Simms as 11-on-11 drills continued, but "that was an accident," he said. "I just tripped him."

Accident or not, Troy's motor seems to lack an off switch, constantly putting him in a position to make a play. He plays with a high level of intensity and consistently goes as hard as he can "to help get the team better, and to help get myself better individually," he said.

It all gets back to the team's motto, "Play like a Jet," which Davis sums up with two words: "fast" and "physical."

Troy Davis has transformed from a boy who loved basketball into a man who loves football. He's looking forward to the second preseason game, when he will attempt to show the coaches a player who is consistent, physical, fast and team-oriented.

"I love this game," he said. "I love football, so wherever on the field they want to put me, I'm going to give it my all. I'm just looking to go out there and give the fans what they want, and that's just playing like a Jet."

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