Former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis, 35, found dead at Florida mansion, police say

Miami selected Davis as the 25th pick in the first round of the 2009 draft. He played college football at the University of Illinois.

Davis made news and raised eyebrows in 2018 by retiring at halftime during the Bills’ game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

He said in a statement about deciding to call it quits mid-game: “This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL. But today, on the field, reality hit me hard and fast. I shouldn’t be out there anymore. … I meant no disrespect to my teammates or coaches.”

Davis was twice named to the Pro Bowl.

Tiresias McCall, 46, is the former dean of students of Dunbar High School in Washington D.C., Davis’ alma mater.

McCall said he met Davis in 2019 when Davis returned to the school and spoke about a book he co-wrote, “The Middle School Rules of Vontae Davis.”

The book is said to be about the long odds Davis faced in making the NFL. Davis’ parents were drug addicts, and his grandmother Adaline adopted him and his siblings so they wouldn’t live in separate foster homes, according to a description of the book.

“He was an amazing, caring, passionate young man,” McCall said. “He spoke from his heart. He has a very infectious smile. He was full of energy, and the kids locked on to everything he said.”

McCall added that Davis’ background resonated with student-athletes who also faced struggles at home.

“The young men and females attached to that. That’s inspiration to them. ‘I, too, can be him.’”

He’s not thinking about Davis’ death in terms of sadness, McCall said; instead, he’s celebrating his life and achievements.

“He lived his time. He lived it to the fullest … and he blessed many, many people. He inspired many people,” McCall said.

Davis’ older brother, Vernon Davis, played tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos and Washington before he retired in 2020.

First appeared on www.nbcnews.com

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