Former Mepham High School All-State quarterback Tyler Davis is headed to the National Football League.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Davis, who converted to tight end and spent three seasons at the University of Connecticut before transferring to Georgia Tech for his final year of college eligibility, was selected in the sixth round, 206th overall, in the NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve been playing football since I’m 6 years old and it’s a dream come true,” said Davis, a 2015 Mepham graduate who became the first Georgia Tech tight end drafted into the NFL in 28 years — Tom Covington was selected by San Francisco in the 11th round in 1992 — and sixth all-time. “I just dropped to my knees when I got the call,” added Davis.
With the Jaguars on the board, General Manager David Caldwell called Davis to deliver the news his name would soon scroll along the bottom of NFL Network’s televised draft coverage as the next pick. “Thank you so much,” responded an emotional Davis, who was surrounded at home in North Bellmore by his parents, Steve and Cindy, brothers Bryan and Jake, and girlfriend Sydney.
Davis wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine but held his Pro Day March 11 and received positive feedback from more than a dozen teams. He said the Jaguars were at the top of the list of teams that expressed interest. “I was told by one of their scouts that Mr. Caldwell attended a Georgia Tech game and liked what he saw in me,” Davis said. “I honestly couldn’t be happier that it’s the Jaguars.”
In his last two years as a high school quarterback, Davis proved an unstoppable dual threat. Between his junior and senior campaigns, he rushed for 43 touchdowns and passed for 19 scores.
“From the time Tyler walked into the weight room as an eighth grader, he had one goal and that was to be the best,” Mepham head coach Anthony Cracco said. “He’s an outstanding football player and an even better teammate and person. He embodies everything a coach wants in a student-athlete. It’s a special day for Tyler and the Davis family and our Pirates football family.”
Davis was recruited by UConn to play quarterback. He ended up contributing to its passing game, just not the way he envisioned. After his redshirt year, then head coach Bob Diaco wanted to stick with incumbent signal-caller Bryant Shirreffs after the Huskies qualified for a bowl game. Diaco asked Davis to embrace an entirely new role.
“Coach Diaco wanted my athleticism on the field and didn’t want me on the sideline holding a clipboard as a backup quarterback,” Davis said. “It was difficult to hear, but then I went to work to become the best tight end I could possibly be. It was hard and I wasn’t very good at first. I just worked and worked.”
In three seasons at UConn, he totaled 47 receptions, 500 yards and 7 touchdowns. Six of his trips to end zone for the Huskies came in 2018. Last year at Georgia Tech, he caught 17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown while serving as one of its four captains.
On his Twitter account, Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins wrote: “Congrats T.D. Words cannot explain the pride we all have and all you’ve meant to establishing the culture at Georgia Tech football. Amazing feeling when someone you love earns the dream they’ve worked so hard to reach!!!!”