Canton-bound Davis pays homage to UGA

Former Denver running back Terrell Davis, who had a checkered career at the University of Georgia, is counting down the days until his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

“I never saw myself as a hall of famer,” Davis said on Thursday. “I saw myself as somebody who wanted to work hard and try to win some games and championships, but obviously they put me in the room and selected me. I’m grateful for it.”

Davis was named the Super Bowl XXXII MVP after the Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers in Jan. 1998. The following season, helped the Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.

He was also named to the all-decade team of the 1990s.

But before he went on the flourish in the NFL, after slipping the draft, he played played at Georgia. It was not a smooth stay after starting his career Long Beach State.

“It was important that I was at Georgia and things didn’t pan out the way I wanted (them) to pan out, or I expected to pan out,” Davis said. “I started looking at things when I was there and I realized that man it was tough, but I needed that. That toughness and what I went through at Georgia helped me. It really did.

“It helped me just kind of refocus and sort of look in the mirror a say, ‘man, you’ve got to be better.’ I had to work harder.’ “

Davis backed up Garrison Hearst at Georgia. After Hearst left, Davis took over and rushed for more than 800 yards in the 1993 season.

He battled through hamstring injuries his senior season. His reputation for being injury prone and coach Ray Goff allegedly denied NFL scouts game film of Davis hurt his draft status.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in consumer economics, he slipped into the sixth round of the 1995 draft.

But Davis wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

“There was a period (at Georgia) where I didn’t think I was going to be able to play football again,” Davis said. “When I got a chance to play football (again), I remember thinking the next time that you can get on the field and play, you’ve got to make good on it. It was really for myself, nobody else.”

He finished his senior season with two strong games, rushing for more than 100 yards and was invited to play in the Blue-Gray game.

“I didn’t want to have any regrets when I left Georgia,” Davis said. “So, I just kind of changed a little bit of my attitude and my perspective and tried to work as hard as I could.

“Fortunately, things worked out. I finished out pretty good at Georgia.”

Davis with sixth running back on the depth chart in Denver. He went on to impress the coaches with his play on special teams.

He wont he starting spot and went on to become the lowest drafted player to rush for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie.

“I didn’t think I was going to be playing professional football, to be honest with you,” Davis said. “But one thing led to another. One opportunity led to another opportunity and I just kind of took advantage.”

Injuries cut his NFL career short. He played seven NFL seasons and rushed for 7,607 yards, caught 169 passes for 1,280 yards and 65 touchdowns.

“During my time at Georgia, I loved it down there,” Davis said. “I have lots of friends at Georgia still. Loved playing between the hedges. My time down there was great. Again, the stuff that happened to me was necessary and I wouldn’t even change it. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change it. It certainly helped me to be the person that I became.”