Austin Davis: Hardwork and Dedication Pays Off

Whenever you hear the school named Southern Miss Golden Eagles, the only person you think of is all time NFL great Brett Favre. However, most of the passing records are not even held by Favre. Could you guess who has most of them? That would be the current Rams starting QB Austin Davis. The story of the 25 year old Austin Davis is more than just a guy that came out of nowhere. He was a player that succeeded at every level, but by not measuring up to NFL standards, he slipped through the cracks. So now it’s time to answer the question of who is Austin Davis.

Austin Davis

Austin Davis went to West Lauderdale High School where he became known as their most successful QB in school history. Then he signed a baseball scholarship at Southern Miss and walked on the football team. Davis became the starter as a redshirt freshman, while breaking 15 school records, including setting a new record with 3,128 passing yards and broke Brett Favre’s school record for most touchdown passes by a freshman with 23. As a senior, Davis threw for 3,496 yards and 30 touchdowns, both school records. He was given the Conerly Trophy, which is given to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi. Davis also ended up leading the Eagles to 12 victories that year.

Despite his numerous college recognitions, Davis still went undrafted in the 2012 draft. He was also drafted by the Boston Red Sox to play baseball even though he only played for one year all the way back in 2007. His heart obviously belonged to football. He signed with the St Louis Rams as a walk on right after the 2012 draft. He was then cut a year later by the Rams in August of 2013 and signed with the Dolphins less than two weeks after that. Soon after  he was released by the Dolphins, only then to be re-signed by the Rams in October of 2013. Before he re-signed with the Rams, Davis also volunteered as an assistant coach at Westminster Christian Academy.

The 6’2 220 pound Davis started camp with the Rams as the third QB behind starter Sam Bradford and veteran backup Shaun Hill. Most people still didn’t think Davis could be la egitimate NFL QB, some said that he wasn’t even a legitimate development option. I started mentioning Davis’ after game three of the preseason this year. Sam Bradford tore his ACL and Davis came on to throw for 198 yards along with two touchdowns. It’s something that can easily go unnoticed, but anything that is done in the third preseason game should be taken seriously. Add that to the fact that he seemed composed under pressure and actually be a leader on the field. The Rams looked like they had a diamond in the rough.


In the first game of the season, Shaun Hill was hurt and Davis was forced to play the second half. He didn’t light the place on fire, but he at least got his feet wet. With Hill expected to miss a couple weeks, Davis started week 2 and led the Rams to a 19-17 win over the Buccaneers. It was week 3 that was the coming out show for Davis. He faced the Dallas Cowboys and went 30-42 for 327 yards and 3 TDs in a close loss 34-31. After the Rams bye week, coach Jeff Fisher officially named Davis the starter for the rest of the year, saying, “It’s not that Shaun lost the job, it’s that Austin earned an opportunity to keep it.” Davis then went out and went 29-49 for 375 yards and 3 TDs in a narrow loss to the Philadelphia Eagles 34-28.

After that Eagles game, their coach, Chip Kelly specifically mentioned Davis, saying, “The thing that impresses you on tape, he doesn’t force the ball. A lot of times he’s checking it down to the back, but he really quickly gets through his progressions. It’s one, two, down to the back, and trying to get the drive extended from that standpoint.” The league was then put on notice. The Rams were not just a bad team starting a 3rd string QB. Austin had now shown against 2 of the top teams in the NFC that the Rams would put forth a tough game against anyone.

The biggest win, and maybe the most efficient game played by Davis so far was week 7 against the defending Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Davis threw for only 155 yards, but had 2 TD and no turnovers on 17 of 20 passing. Even after this trademark win, Davis still isn’t a household name and still isn’t even recognized by his own facilities security. Davis was on the Dan Patrick show and said “The guy at the front desk here at the facilities actually asked who I was the other day.” I’m pretty sure that former Rams QBs, who came out of nowhere, like Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger, had the same issues when they 1st started their runs.

Rays (pclarke v1)

Even though he may not be recognized by that security guard, he sure has caught the eye of his fellow former Southern Miss QB, Brett Favre. After the Seahawks game, Favre had some high grade remarks for Davis, saying, “Not to sound off my rocker, but in my mind, can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner, like those mentioned, just needed a legit opportunity”, when speaking about how good Davis can be. Maybe Favre is jumping the gun a little bit, but one thing is for sure, Davis has won at every level, has been productive at every level, has been a leader at every level, and most importantly, seems to just have that “It” factor that you need to be an NFL QB. He’ll definitely be someone to watch as this exciting NFL season, continues on.

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