After catching a slant route over the middle of the field, former USF receiver Andre Davis got the praise of a lifetime when all 22,296 fans at the 90th East-West Shrine Game jumped to their feet to cheer for the “pride of Tampa Bay,” as announced over the Tropicana Field PA system Saturday.
The Tampa native showed off for his hometown, hauling in three catches for 36 yards on four targets to help lead the East All-Stars to a 19-3 win over the West.
“It felt so good, man,” Davis said after meeting with family following the game. “It lets me know that the city is always behind me, no matter what. I love Tampa; I love this city and everyone who came out here to support me and my dreams.”
In his four years at USF, Davis broke 12 school receiving records, but now sets his sight on a greater task: the NFL draft.
Rated as the 48th best receiver in this year’s class by CBSSports.com, Davis is predicted to go undrafted, but still has the potential to be signed as an undrafted free agent.
“Andre has had a great impact on me this week,” Duke quarterback and East teammate Anthony Boone said. “His leadership and work ethic is great and he really knows what it takes to be a great receiver … He has the un-coachables: He’s big and strong and knows the right way to run routes; he brings it.”
Davis even caught the eye of East coach and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary.
“For a quarterback to have a receiver like that, it really makes a difference,” Singletary said. “A quarterback can feel very comfortable with him because of the consistency of his routes.”
Davis will remain in his hometown to continue his workouts and conditioning ahead of the draft, but said he won’t forget the memories made at USF.
“It’s just been a great experience being able to come out and play with these guys and perform for everybody,” Davis said. “Now, I’m just getting ready for that next level. I’m going to train my behind off for that draft and hopefully I get a shot.”
The NFL draft is set for Apr. 30 through May 2. Davis will get another chance to impress scouts at USF’s pro day in March.
USF came home from the Michigan Invitational with four wins, including three singles and one doubles.
Freshman Jessica Cortes, along with sophomores Vera Bessonova and Hailey Grillo, each rebounded from losses Saturday for comebacks later in the tournament.
Bessonova defeated South Carolina’s Hadley Berg in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, while Grillo defeated Ali Mills, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Along with her singles win, Cortes also notched a win in doubles with her partner Olaya Garrido-Rivas. The duo took down Texas Tech’s Kenna Kilgo and Sarah Dvorak, 6-2.
The No.22 men’s tennis team put on a dominant showing Friday in their season-opener at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts, sweeping Stetson and FAU 4-0 in both matches.
Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy secured the doubles point in straight sets, 6-0, topping Stetson’s Loic Blanco and Chester Espie.
In the singles No. 1 spot, junior Roberto Cid dominated his match over FAU’s Richard Meade, 6-1, 6-1.