Saturday, May 02, 2015

UConn's Geremy Davis gets the NFL call

The minutes turned into hours as he waited for his name to be called on the final day of the NFL Draft and Geremy Davis couldn't take it any longer.

The hands which put him on the radar of NFL teams had held the cell phone long enough. He finally asked his best friend and former high school teammate Jose Morales to hang onto the phone. That seemed to do the trick as Morales had the phone in his hands when the New York Giants called to say they were taking him in the sixth round.

"I was looking at my phone the whole time and then I gave it my best friend because I was getting a little antsy," Davis said. "He said 'yo, your phone is ringing.' He passed me my phone. Everybody wants to joke around and say he is my good luck charm."

There was nothing lucky about Davis journey from underrated recruit to NFL draftee.

Davis had a chance to show what he could do when he played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January where former NFL receivers Andre Reed and Az-Zahir Hakim were his position coaches.
"I really liked working with him," Hakim said. "He's a good kid, a hard worker, a good teammate. He catches the ball well, he isn't afraid to go over the middle."

There were still questions about whether he would be drafted even after Davis went to the NFL Scouting Combine and finished among the top 10 in his position group in the broad jump, 3-cone drill and in the 60-yard shuttle while tying for the best mark with 23 repetitions at 225 pounds in the bench press. Former Dallas Cowboys draft guru Gil Brandt broke down the tape and reported that Davis was one of two receivers at the combine who didn't drop a catchable pass during the 2014 season but scouts questioned whether Davis was fast enough to play in the NFL. Many of those naysayers were silenced when Davis ran under 4.5 seconds in both of his 40-yard dashes with 29 NFL teams with scouts or coaches in attendance.

"After I ran in the 4.4s I was praising God and knew there was an opportunity to hear my name called," Davis said.

"It's a true blessing to get this opportunity. I am happy that they Giants gave me this opportunity. I am going to work, giving it all I have. I always had that crazy work ethic, that perfectionist work ethic. I just have to make sure I have that same attitude plus more when I get there."

The Giants doesn't exactly lack in talented young receivers including Odell Beckham Jr., winner of multiple NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year awards so being a part of the receiving rotation won't be easy.

In an interview on the NFL Network New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Davis "is a big strong guy who will help us on special teams."

Davis is ready to play whatever role the Giants have in store for him.

"Regardless of the round, you have to go there and prove yourself," Davis said. "The best feeling in the world is to be wanted. They called my name, they gave me this opportunity to prove myself."

This is the seventh time in last eight years that at least two UConn players have been taken in the NFL Draft as Byron Jones was taken in the first round by Dallas.

"I am so happy," Davis said. "We worked so hard. I was just happy when I saw Byron's name called. I had to patiently wait fro my opportunity, I got my name called."

If Davis makes the Giants he could very well line up against Jones twice a season as the Giants and Cowboys both play in the NFC East.

"That is pretty cool," Davis said. "I know his game. It would be a little sentimental knowing that I am going up against a real close friend but at the same time he knows my game as well."

While he didn't get drafted, B.J. McBryde is getting his NFL shot as he has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.

'I have been wanted to be with them from the start, this whole process this is the team I wanted," McBryde said. "They were at the top of my list."

The Eagles were one of the teams on the phone with McBryde as the final picks were being announced.

"There were seven or eight picks left and they were on the phone with me along with quite a few teams but they were the ones I wanted," McBryde said.

"I am on CloudNine, I am going to go celebrate with my family, get some dinner and get ready for rookie camp on Thursday. This is a big moment for me, I am getting ready to prove that I can play this sport at the next level which is what I have been wanting to do for a while."

The Eagles sent four assistant coaches including defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro headed up to UConn to work out Jones, Davis and McBryde a week before the draft. While the Eagles didn't draft either Jones or Davis, getting a closer look at McBryde (who the Eagles project as a 5 technique defensive end in the 3-4 defense).

McBryde was thrilled to see his former teammates add to the list of UConn players getting drafted.

"I let out a scream when I saw Byron go and Geremy go, it is all I wanted. I am so excited for those guys," McBryde said. "I am really anxious to see how well they do."

Also, Ross Jones, who is the NFL Editor for, is reporting that DE/LB Reuben Frank has earned a tryout with the Detroit Lions so there will be four members of the 2014 UConn team in pro training camps. That number will grow as center Alex Mateas is the No. 3 overall prospect for the CFL Draft set for May 12.


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