Keionta Davis' unlikely story has him right where he belongs, in Super Bowl LIII
From Red Bank to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to Super Bowl LIII with a roadblock hurdled before each step, Keionta Davis the former UTC All-American and current New England Patriot isn't slowing down.
It was February of 2012, Keionta Davis signed his National Letter of Intent, wearing his emotions on his sleeve, he tried to field questions from the media.
"It's been a long way coming. I'm so happy, I finally get to play in college," Keionta said through tears.
His former assistant coach Kraig Campbell recalled, "there was not a dry eye in the place."
Those tears weren't tears of pain or worry. The time for that was eight months prior when Keionta Davis tore his ACL. As quick as his senior season at Red Bank ended, so did the recruiting calls from all but one school. His hometown Chattanooga Mocs.
Keionta’s mother Audrey said, “just having somebody caring about him, when everyone else fell by the wayside when he got injured, it lifted his spirits."
"I know how much hard work I put in and to be able to move on to the next level, everything just came out that day," Keionta said.
It wasn't the last time Keionta would watch the next level shy away. Davis, the two time All-American at UTC, was a projected mid-round NFL draft pick until doctors spotted a bulging disk in his neck. Davis went undrafted and was once again staring uncertainty in the face.
Keionta’s step dad, Michael Eddins said, “he had that look on his face, I walked over to him and said look nothing ever came easy to you, you've always had to work for what you got, so why would it start now.”
Keionta added, “Luckily I had the support of my family, my teachers, my coaches. They believed in me. They never let me hit rock bottom, never let me hit rock bottom."
Keionta did what he always did, he went back to work. He signed with New England as an undrafted free agent and worked his way onto the 53 man roster and into Super Bowl LIII.
“I knew they had my back. I couldn't let them down, and I didn't, and I've been striving ever since then,” Keionta said.
“All the trials, all the obstacles he overcame. Me and him often talk about David and Goliath because I feel like his story is like that,” Audrey added.