- Height: 5'11"
- Weight: 206lbs
- Date of Birth: October 28th, 1972
- Birthplace: San Diego, California
- High School: Morse High School, Lincoln Prep
- College: Long Beach State University, University of Georgia
- Draft: Sixth round, Denver Broncos 1995
- Position: Running Back
During his career, Terrell Davis was one of the most exciting running backs in the NFL. Largely unheralded out of college, Davis turned out to be a fantastic back with undeniable skill. Even though he had excellent regular season numbers, Davis was even better in the post season. Once the playoffs arrived, he seemed to shift into another gear that most running backs can only dream about.
Davis was born October 28, 1972 in San Diego, California. He began his football career playing in the local Pop Warner league at seven years of age. Although he quickly asserted himself as a force in little league, Davis did not play high school football until his junior year at Lincoln Prep. He was a multi-position player his junior and senior years, playing fullback, kicker, and nose tackle. He helped lead Lincoln to 12-2 record in his senior season. In addition to football, Davis also excelled at the discus throw, setting the Lincoln school record.
Davis had a tumultuous collegiate career at both Long Beach State University (LBSU) and the University of Georgia (UG). He was redshirted his freshman year at LBSU to help him prepare for college level football. Davis only played one year at LBSU (1991) because the school canceled the football program due to funding troubles. Despite only rushing for 262 yards at LBSU, Davis was offered a football scholarship at the UG, and Davis accepted. He did not play his first year at UG due to playing behind Heisman candidate Garrison Hearst. However, Davis became the starter in 1993 after Hearst graduated and Davis posted a solid season of 167 carries for 824 yards. Any hopes of an improved senior year were destroyed when Davis suffered a hamstring injury early in the year against Tennessee. He finished the season strong with two 100-plus yard rushing games to close out the year. His season totals were 445 yards rushing yards on only 67 carries.
Davis was a sixth round pick by the Denver Broncos, and the 21st running back selected in the 1995 NFL Draft. His draft standing was hurt by his hamstring problem and a developing reputation as an injury prone player. Davis worked extremely hard during pre-season and was able to capture Denver’s starting running back job going into opening week. Davis enjoyed an excellent rookie campaign, rushing for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns. That year he became the lowest drafted player ever to rush for at least 1,000 yards in their rookie season. Davis was incredible over the next three seasons when he led the AFC in rushing every year. He rushed for over 1,500 yards and at least 13 touchdowns all three years, improving his stats every year. Undoubtedly, his finest year was in 1998 when Davis became one of only four players in NFL history to rush for 2,000 or more yards in one season. His performance (2,008 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns) earned him the NFL MVP and his second NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Davis is arguably the best playoff running back in NFL history. In eight career playoff games he accumulated 1,140 yards rushing on 204 carries and 12 touchdowns. He helped lead the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. Davis dominated both playoff years with 581 yards rushing in 1997 and 468 yards rushing in 1998. He became the first player ever to rush for three touchdowns in a Super Bowl in 1997, when he was named Super Bowl MVP. Maybe even more impressive than the rushing numbers is the fact that Davis played the 1997 Super Bowl with a terrible migraine headache. In the 1997 playoffs, Davis scored a total of 48 points, an all-time record until it was broken in 2006. Davis also holds an all-time playoff record with seven straight 100 yard rushing games.
Davis’ NFL career came to a close prematurely due to nagging injuries. He tore the MCL and ACL in his right knee in 1999 and he was never the same. He only played a handful of games from 1999 to 2001, accumulating a total of 1,194 rushing yards over 20 games. He decided to retire prior to the 2002 year, having spent his entire career with the Broncos. His career totals include 1,655 rushing attempts, 7,607 rushing yards, 1,280 receiving yards, and 65 total touchdowns. Throughout his career he was recognized as a complete running back, able to run, catch, and block. He was named to three Pro Bowls, was named AP Offensive Player of the Year twice, voted NFL MVP once, and was a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Lowest drafted player to rush for over 1,000 yards in his rookie season.
- Three-time Pro Bowler: 1996-1998.
- UPI AFC Offensive MVP: 1996.
- PFWA MVP: 1998.
- Espy Award winner: 1999.
- Two-time AP Offensive Player of the Year: 1996 and 1998.
- NFL MVP: 1998.
- Two-time Super Bowl champion: 1997 and 1998.
- Super Bowl MVP: 1997.
- Named to the 1990s NFL All-Decade Team.
- One of only four players in NFL history to rush for 2,000 or more yards in one season: 2,008 yards in 1998.
- Led the AFC in rushing three times: 1996-98.
- Led the NFL in rushing once: 1998.
- All-time NFL leader with seven consecutive 100 yard rushing playoff games.
- Became the first player to rush for three touchdowns in a Super Bowl: 1997.
- Set 47 Denver Bronco team records over his career.