Jordan Davis’ defensive capabilities are second to none, and his Saturdays often consist of thrashing grown men in pursuit of ball carriers. But amidst a surging Heisman campaign and in his final game at Sanford Stadium, the 6-foot-6 nose tackle accomplished something he had never done before for the Bulldogs.
With just over nine minutes left in the first quarter, Davis lined up at running back in Georgia’s goal line package and surged into the end zone for the Bulldogs’ first score of the day. His presence in the formation sent the Georgia crowd into ecstasy.
“When I’m on the field I’m so zoned in I don’t hear anything except for the cadence and the snap,” Davis said. “I knew after the play and after I scored that it was a sure-fire touchdown because everyone was going crazy. That was just the greatest moment.”
Head coach Kirby Smart indicated that Georgia had prepped the play earlier this week in practice with offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Even though Davis has been in goal line formations earlier this season, this one required an elevated standard of determination.
“I figured they’d know what was coming, but I don’t know that it mattered,” said Smart. “He was going to get that ball across the goal line any way he could.”
Davis’ lunge is only the latest chapter of a slew of memorable moments for Georgia’s unquestioned emotional leader. From chase-down tackles to forceful sacks, Davis anchors the entire Bulldog defense.
And with growing national attention on Davis given his personal exploits and Georgia’s success, Smart says the senior’s impact to the team is as essential as ever. Beyond just his on-field performance, Davis brings an infectious aura to the locker room that defines Georgia’s program and its function.
“It’s hard to quantify because it’s impactful,” Smart said. “He has this personality that people embrace, and if you don’t know him, you missed out.
Following his dominant senior day win, Davis enjoyed a moment with another beloved facet of the Athens game day environment. An avid fan of Georgia’s Redcoat Band, he crept up the podium facing the band, and with a swift move of his hands, led a rendition of Georgia’s fight song, his personal favorite.
Those fans that chose to stay for all four quarters were witness to one of the most genuine moments in Georgia’s 11 games.
“It makes me feel great because they love me just as much as I love them, and I wish that they had more recognition and more love from Dawg Nation,” Davis said. “Every week they are there getting me hyped up, so it was only right that I went over there to show them some love.”
The band graced Davis as an honorary member and presented the lineman with a replica “red coat” that Davis said was from the “big-and-tall” section.
Even after scoring a touchdown, something Davis said is even more fun than sacking quarterbacks, he deflected credit to the rest of his teammates. That is nothing new for those that have come to know Georgia’s star.
Leaving the stadium for the final time, Davis was overwhelmingly pleased with his senior day proceedings, and expressed thanks to all of the fans that have joined him on his journey in the red and black.
“I felt like it was just a way to honor me and end off with a bang,” Davis said. “Just knowing that the team was behind me and that the team was excited, it means that it’s not just me, it’s about everybody else. If today wasn’t my favorite memory, then I don’t know what to tell you.”