|When you think about the Carolina Panthers, who is the one player that best exemplifies the heart and soul of the team? Is it Cam Newton? Luke Kuechly? Greg Hardy? While all of those players are important to the team’s identity, only one player truly personifies the heartbeat of the Carolina Panthers……. Thomas Davis!
So why is Thomas Davis the heart of the team? To find out, let’s recap his football journey. Davis played college ball at the University of Georgia. As a safety in 2003, he was very successful leading an aggressive Georgia Bulldog defense and earning second-team All-SEC honors. In 2004, he was named a first-team All-SEC selection, a consensus first team All-American, and in 2005, he was the Panthers 14th overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft.
He was converted from safety to linebacker his rookie season. After a typical roller coaster rookie start, Davis earned a starting position in his second season. Taking advantage of his opportunity, Thomas Davis finished the 2006 season with 90 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Panthers realized they had a gem in Thomas Davis, and he has been a starter and a leader ever since.
Starting in 2009, Davis’ was tested by a series of major injuries, tearing his ACL three times in three years. Davis didn’t quit. He vowed to come back.
Recovered from three consecutive ACL injuries, Thomas Davis did the unthinkable and started 12 games in 2012 recording 105 tackles.
The Carolina Bulldog was back healthy, strong, and as hungry as ever.
After tearing his ACL three times, most expected Davis to just hang up his helmet, but Davis isn’t a quitter. He still competes at a high level, shows leadership, and displays the ultimate can’t quit attitude. In the 2013, he finished the NFL season with a combined total of 123 tackles. If you ever had or have any doubts why the Carolina Panthers were 12-4, look no further than The Carolina Bulldog Thomas Davis for answers.
What is your favorite Thomas Davis moment?
By: Justin Raymond