UTSA’s young football program added another huge milestone to its history book tonight after a former Roadrunner was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Accompanied by Head Coach Frank Wilson and best friends/teammates Nate Gaines and Larry Stephens, Davenport heard his name called when the New Orleans Saints aggressively traded up to make the 14th overall pick in the draft. It's clear the Saints' front office saw Davenport as a future superstar as they gave up up an impressive haul to secure the 14th spot in the draft.
Davenport’s story is one of self-realization, hard work, and humility. A lightly-recruited athlete out of high school, Davenport spurned out-of-state offers from UNLV and New Mexico to stay home in San Antonio. Davenport would play a major role in building UTSA’s program through his four years of excellent play at the defensive end position, becoming a true hometown hero along the way.
Starting his career as a lanky speed rusher, Davenport helped spark one of UTSA’s biggest wins in program history in his first collegiate game. Despite weighing just 215 pounds at the time, Davenport made his impact felt immediately on the gridiron as his pass rush on third downs terrorized then-UH quarterback John O’Korn to the tune of a 27-7 upset on national television.
As Davenport physically grew and developed his game over the years he became a much more well-rounded defender. After helping to lead UTSA to its first ever bowl game in 2016, Davenport truly emerged as a likely NFL Draft pick in his senior season. With former Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis now tutoring Davenport, the 6’6” senior would tip 260 pounds on the scale while incorporating refined pass rushing moves and an improved vision on the field.
While Davenport still has areas to improve in, his potential ceiling is as high as any defensive player in this draft class. Expect for Davenport to make an immediate impact on third down in the NFL as he continues to grow and develop, just as he did at the collegiate level.