Training Camp Story of the Day

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Davion Davis experienced 'a dream come true' in Jacksonville and is working hard to make an even bigger impression

A late addition to the Browns’ roster, Davis has a history of highlight-reel catches

Davion Davis did what he's done before, and then he didn't know what to do.

It was Saturday night in Jacksonville, and Davis was getting his first in-game action as a wide receiver with the Browns. Added to the roster just a few days into training camp, Davis made a quick enough of an impression to earn first-half playing time, and the Browns were poised to score shortly before halftime.

Davis, flanked out to the right, ran straight for the end zone as QB Kyle Lauletta looked to the other side of the field. Then, Lauletta looked right and saw Davis with a step on his defender. He lofted the ball toward the end zone and gave Davis a chance to grab the 50-50 ball. Davis turned around, leaped in the air and caught the ball as he crashed toward the ground. His hip was in bounds, and that counts just as much as two feet, so it was good for a touchdown.

Davis stood up, patted his helmet and pointed to the sky — a tribute to his late grandmother, Bernice, who encouraged him to pursue football from the moment he was born. By the time Davis' arm came down, he was surrounded by his teammates, a group led by Jarvis Landry, who was the first to greet him.

"I thought it was awesome," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "You just look at the boundary when he scored and how excited the sideline was. DD is a great kid."

Davis was too caught up in the moment to celebrate any further. His teammates were more than making up for it. He even lost track of the ball, which wasn't able to be preserved as a keepsake.

The memory, though, won't ever leave him.

"That was my first NFL touchdown so I didn't know how to celebrate," Davis said Tuesday. "I just gave my grandma thanks and celebrated with the team. 

"A dream come true honestly."

The stage was bigger Saturday, but Davis has made similarly eye-popping catches in the past. It's among the reasons why he continues to pursue a dream that began in earnest as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2019 and continues today on a Browns roster that appears to be absolutely loaded at the position he plays.

No matter, Davis has been locked in ever since the Browns added him to the roster a few days into camp. Catches like the one he made Saturday are looking more and more routine because of everything he's done in between making them.

"I just come in every day and work hard," Davis said. "I do not really think about it. Like I said, I take everything day by day and just do the best that I can do every day."

To get the best out of Davis, wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator Chad O'Shea recently dug into Davis' past for a little inspiration.

In 2018, Davis, who starred at Sam Houston State, made one of the best catches of the college football season in a game against Central Arkansas. Lined up on the left, Davis raced toward the goal line, leaped in the air and snared a lofted ball with his right hand as he fell to the ground. The play promptly went viral and landed on SportsCenter's Top 10 list.

Three years later, O'Shea showed the play to the rest of the players in Cleveland's wide receivers room.

"I didn't think anybody remembered it," Davis said. "They showed it to the rest of the team and getting everyone's reaction like they did, it was crazy. I'd kind of gotten past that and put it on the backburner, myself."

Davis spent time with Stefanski in Minnesota as a member of the Vikings practice squad in 2019. He was back with the team for 2020 but was waived before training camp even got started, keeping him completely out of the NFL for the remainder of the season. Before signing with the Browns, Davis played in The Spring League — a developmental spring league that plays games in Houston and Indianapolis — and later participated in Cleveland's mandatory minicamp as a tryout player. He picked up a couple of more tryouts over the summer but nothing stuck until he got the call from the Browns after Derrick Willies was placed on the reserve/retired list.

From that point forward, including another practice Tuesday full of big catches, Davis has made the most of his opportunity. Though Saturday's catch was a dream come true, he doesn't want it to be the peak moment of his time with the Browns.

"We have a lot of talented guys in the room," Davis said. "Just staying focused and staying prepared for anything that is given to me.

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