Will Davis Flying High, Now A Cardinal

Many dream of playing in the National Football League, but few are selected for that elite opportunity. For Fighting Illini defensive end Will Davis, that dream became a reality when he was selected in the 6th round of the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. A firm believer in destiny, Davis was given a premonition that proved accurate.

Driving in Champaign while waiting for his name to be called Sunday, Illinois defensive end Will Davis received an amazingly accurate vision of his future.

"Something crazy happened today. We were going to see my girlfriend and family, and we accidently hit a Cardinal while going here. We were laughing that it was a sign, and maybe it was a sign.

"Two of them were flying across the street on Windsor. They stopped in the middle of the road. One went flying off, and the other came back and tapped our hood. I tried to dodge it so I wouldn't kill it and get bad vibes (it was fine). I told the Cardinals, and they asked if that was a good sign. It really hit us more than us hitting it."

As so many have said previously, it can be excruciating to wait for your name to be announced on draft day.

"Man, it was crazy. I've been sitting there waiting. I expected to go earlier. It was tough. I wasn't even watching it for awhile. I just feel I have a lot to prove now. I want to go there and do my thing.

"But I've been praying, even before the Senior Bowl, that I go to the right team rather than the round I'd get picked in. I feel it is the right team."

The product of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland, did his homework, and the Cardinals were one of his preferences.

"The Cardinals were one of the teams I was looking at that I thought would be a good fit for me. My agent is actually Kurt Warner's agent, so he spoke real highly of the Cardinals. He told me how he loved the coaching staff and how the best players played. I'll have a good team around me. They went to the Super Bowl last year. I'm looking forward to it. I feel like it's the right team."

Davis' dream is coming true, but not at the position he originally envisioned. Illinois recruited him as a wide receiver.

"In high school, I was dreaming of being an NFL wide receiver. That's all I was thinking about. When I got here, as soon as I switched over all I was thinking about was playing defense in the NFL. It happened that way. I love the sport, and I love it even more on defense."

Will was riding high after a great junior year culminated with an appearance in the Rose Bowl. But a sprained ankle in the preseason of his senior year put a damper on his and the Illini's hopes. It threatened to cut short his pro aspirations.

"Yeah, it got discouraging because I hurt both ankles. Once the one was getting better, the other one got turned. Both of them started getting hurt because I was compensating on each one. I kept on praying about it."

Will Davis is capable of adapting quickly, a testament to his strong belief system.

"Everything was set up for me to be drafted here. I'm a firm believer in whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen. Everything happens for a reason. I was down for awhile, but it didn't take me long to get up out of it. Anybody that knows me knows it doesn't take me long to get out of anything, really. I'm just looking forward to my future now."

Davis won't enter the Arizona camp this summer without friends.

"I will be playing with Cody Brown, who was drafted before me. I played with him at the Senior Bowl. We had lockers right next to each other and got along well. We're looking forward to it."

Will Davis may have been discouraged waiting for his name to be called, but he is on Cloud Nine now.

"It feels great. I can't explain it with words. A lot of guys have told me it's all about getting your foot in the door. Now I have it there, I'm planning on staying a long, long time."


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