Todd Davis has gone by many names over his football career — Spirit, Hornet, Saint, Bronco — but the latest one really sticks: champion.
After racking up the second-most tackles in Hornet history, Davis, 23, found himself atop the football world on the game’s biggest stage Feb. 7 with the Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos.
“I just feel truly blessed to be here,” Davis, freshly decked out in a “Super Bowl Champions” hat and T-shirt, said in a post-game interview. “Super Bowl 50, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
“We did it, Sac State. We’re here,” he said, raising an outstretched pinkie finger. “Stingers up.”
As a member of Denver’s vaunted linebacking corps, Davis helped the Broncos limit opponents to the fewest yards in the league this year en route to a Super Bowl berth.
On Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Davis took the field for 25 snaps and was part of a defensive performance for the history books: Denver held the explosive Carolina Panthers’ offense to 10 points and posted a record seven sacks with four forced turnovers.
It has been a wild two years for Davis since he last took the field for the Hornets in 2013. Despite a prolific college career — Davis totaled 351 tackles, 9.5 sacks, six interceptions and was the Hornets’ two-time defensive MVP — he went undrafted in 2014.
He signed with the New Orleans Saints, was placed on waivers, and then claimed by Denver later that year. In 2015, he played in every game for the Broncos, registering 21 tackles as part of the NFL’s stingiest defense.
In two years, Davis has come a long way since his days at Hornet Stadium, and he has reached a level of competition that veterans twice his age often never experience.
Now, he has the ring to prove it.