Anthony Davis (running back)

Anthony Davis (running back)

NFL player

Name=Anthony Davis
DateOfBirth=Birth date and age|1952|9|8|mf=y
Birthplace=Huntsville, Texas, United States
Position=Running Back
(By the New York Jets)
teams=Southern California Sun (WFL)
Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)
Houston Oilers (NFL)
Los Angeles Rams (NFL)
Los Angeles Express (USFL)

Anthony Davis (born September 8, 1952) known as "AD", is a former American football running back. He played in the World Football League, the Canadian Football League, the National Football League, and the USFL. Davis played college football at the University of Southern California.

College career

Anthony Davis was a college football All-American in 1974, and led the USC Trojans in rushing, scoring and kick return yardage for three consecutive seasons. He is long remembered for scoring 11 touchdowns in three games against Notre Dame. In a 45-23 USC win on December 2, 1972, he scored six touchdowns which set a school single game record. Two of those scores came on kickoff returns of 96 and 97 yards, one of which was the opening kickoff after the Irish won the coin toss and chose to kick. In his career as a Trojan he returned 37 kickoffs for 1,299 yards, an NCAA record 35.1 yard average. His six career kickoff returns for touchdowns are also an NCAA record as well as his kickoff return average of 42.5 yards in 1974, which is the highest for any single season leader ever. He was also the first Pacific-8 Conference player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons – 1,191 in 1972; 1,112 in 1973 and 1,469 in 1974. In all he carried the ball 784 times for 3,772 yards and 44 touchdowns. In his senior year (1974) he was a unanimous Consensus All-American selection. Davis was also a two time (1973-1974) first team All Pac-8 Conference selection. On November 30, 1974, he lifted his team from a 24-6 halftime deficit to defeat Notre Dame 55-24, scoring on a 102-yard kickoff return to open the second half. Midway through the third quarter, Davis scored his fourth touchdown of the game, went into his "endzone dance" and then added a two-point conversion and the Trojans had the lead 27-24. Incredibly Davis had scored 26 of the 27 points. In 1974, Heisman Trophy ballots were due prior to the end of the season and before that year's USC - Notre Dame game. Anthony finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Archie Griffin. From that day forward, Heisman voting would take place after all the regular season games had been played. From 1972-1974, with Davis as the tailback the Trojans compiled a 31-3-2 record, three conference titles, two Rose Bowl victories in three appearances and two national championships. Upon the completion of his career, he accumulated 24 school, conference and NCAA records, including over 5,400 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns.

Anthony Davis' talents weren't just limited to football, he was also successful in baseball. He was an outfielder on USC’s 1973 and 1974 College World Series champion baseball teams. Playing with wood bats at the time, Davis hit .273 with 6 home runs, 45 RBIs and 13 stolen bases for the Trojan’s 1974 National Championship Baseball team. The Minnesota Twins selected him in the fourth round of the 1975 January amateur entry draft (83rd overall pick).

During his Trojan career, Davis won four National Championships – two in each sport. As a two-sport standout, Davis holds the distinction of being the only player in school history to start for a National Champion Football team (1972) and a National Champion Baseball team (1974). The Notre Dame vs. USC game on November 27, 2004 was titled the "Anthony Davis Day," in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the record-breaking game.

He also was pictured on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" magazine three times, including one foldout.

Davis was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on December 6, 2005 in New York City. He was enshrined on August 12, 2006 in South Bend, Indiana.

Professional career

After graduation Davis was drafted by the New York Jets of the National Football League in the 2nd round of the 1975 draft.

World Football League

In 1975 Davis opted to play for the Southern California Sun of the upstart World Football League (WFL). He led the WFL in rushing with 1,200 yards on 239 carries and 16 touchdowns at the time of its demise. He also caught 40 passes for 381 yards and one TD, while on kickoff returns he ran back 9 for 235 yards and one TD. In all, he scored 18 TDs in the WFL for 133 points. His 16 touchdowns for rushing over 12 games is a WFL record. He also threw the ball and completed 4 of 11 attempts for 102 yards and one TD.

Canadian Football League

Davis headed to the Canadian Football League in 1976, and became the league's first "million dollar man." His time with the Toronto Argonauts was not happy. His star ego clashed with CFL legend and Argo coach Russ Jackson's idea of a team player. He ended up rushing 104 times for 417 yards and catching 37 passes for 408 yards. He scored 4 TDs.

During the final game of the 1976 regular season, in a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (in Hamilton, Ontario) Argo quarterback Matthew Reed, desperate to find an open receiver threw an incomplete pass to Davis. When Reed returned to the bench, assistant coach Joe Moss told him never to throw the ball to Davis again. Davis was called the most expensive passing decoy in the history of the league.

National Football League

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Davis in the 1976 expansion draft, with his old USC coach John McKay hoping to turn some new magic. Alas, Davis' NFL career would be a disappointment. In 11 games for the Bucs, Davis would rush 95 times for 297 yards (3.1 yard average) and catch 8 passes and score one touchdown. He would play 2 games for the Houston Oilers in 1978, and 2 games in 1979 for the Los Angeles Rams, rushing 3 times for 7 yards.

United States Football League

In 1983, four years after he last played, he has a short stint with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL, rushing 12 times for 32 yards.


Following a brief NFL career, Davis became a successful real estate developer and continues to serve as a motivational speaker for youth in Irvine, California where he currently resides. [cite web | url= | author=Dilbeck, Steve | title= No one has let Anthony Davis forget afternoon he beat Notre Dame | date=2004-11-23 | publisher="Los Angeles Daily News" | accessdate=2008-06-17 ] Davis underwent gastric bypass surgery for weight loss on March 11Fact|date=July 2008.


External links

* [ Anthony Davis profile at USC Legends]
* [ player page]

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