Ernie Davis Sprinted to His Dreams
by Isaac Casey, age 9
Ernie Davis was an excellent professional football player. He was really athletic when he was little. He played a lot of sports including baseball, football and basketball. He was born on December 14, 1939. Davis’ parents got divorced shortly after he was born. His dad died in an accident so he lived with his grandparents because his mom worked day and night shifts.
Because Davis was such a talented athlete lots of colleges sought after him to play for their school. Most wanted him for football. Notre Dame, UCLA, and Syracuse were especially interested in him. But Syracuse had two advantages: Jim Brown was a former player for Syracuse and Davis looked up to him and Davis also lived nearby. He decided to attend Syracuse. While playing for the Orange Men, he won the prestigious Heisman Award and got to meet President John F. Kennedy. After meeting the President he said, “Imagine, a president wanting to shake hands with me.”
The Washington Redskins chose Ernie Davis as their first NFL draft pick. Shortly after that, they traded him to the Cleveland Browns. After Davis’ season with the Browns, he found swelling in his neck. His coach took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with leukemia. “Either you fight or you give up,” Davis said. Two months later he went into remission. He later died in his sleep on May 18 at age 23.
Ernie Davis believed in himself, loved football and accomplished his dreams.