For Tae Davis, playing in the NFL was always part of the plan. 

Even as a preschooler, Davis knew he wanted to grow up to be a football player, and though his mom was reluctant to let him play, eventually she gave in.

"I still have a baby picture at home from when I was in preschool" recalls Davis. "We took pictures and we could pick anything and I picked a football and my mom knew then she couldn't take me away from the sport." 

A successful high school career in Oxford, Alabama led him to UTC, where he played safety for the first three years, and linebacker his senior year. 

The position change ended up being a game changer. Davis led the Mocs with 74 tackles his final season, and was invited to the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl. He believes the position switch also increased his draft stock. 

"Just talking with scouts, some of them didn't even know that this was my first year playing linebacker. So I told them I played safety before and it added a lot more versatility for me because it allowed me to do things other linebackers can't."

Davis had a private workout with the New York Giants one week before UTC's Pro Day, and felt good about his performance. 

When draft day came, Davis' name was never called, but what happened later that night is what changed his life.

"After the draft I was pretty upset and bummed out. I said goodbye to my mom and I actually laid down, I didn't want to be around no one really. And they (New York Giants) called me. We talked for a while, and they said alright we worked it on our end, it's up to you do you want to be a Giant. And I said I would love to be." 

As excited as he is to play in the pros, Davis realizes the challenges that lie ahead. But he says he'll do exactly what he's always done, which is stay positive and get to work.

"Hard work doesn't go unnoticed. Sometimes you want things to happen and it don't happen on your time. But it happens when it needs to happen. So keep your head down, keep grinding, keep working hard and something good will eventually happen for you."

Davis graduates this Saturday from UTC and will then hit the road for minicamp in East Rutherford, New Jersey next Thursday.