Former Illini CB Vontae Davis was drafted today in the first round by the Miami Dolphins.
April 25, 2009
With the 25th pick of the 2009 National Football League Amateur draft, the Miami Dolphins selected University of Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis. He becomes the second first-round draft pick in as many years (Rashard Mendenhall, No. 23; 2008, Pittsburgh) for Illinois since the 1990-91 drafts (Jeff George, No. 1, 1990, Indianapolis; Henry Jones, No. 26, 1991, Buffalo).
"I am just looking forward to competing with the other defensive backs, making everyone else raise their game and doing the best I can to help the team win," Davis said. "It was a long day. I woke up early and couldn't eat because I was so nervous. I just patiently waited and it is a blessing to be drafted. Miami is one of the best places you could live in America. It hasn't hit me yet. I was just thinking about the uniforms and how it will fit me.
Davis was a two-time first-team All-Big selection at Illinois after starting at corner for three years, including as a true-freshman in 2006. He earned Thorpe Award Semifinalist honors in both 2007 and 2008 and was a Playboy All-American. He was a third-team All-American last season and finished his career at Illinois ranked eighth in the Illinois history book in career passes broken up with 22. He was always among the Big Ten's best, ranking third in forced fumbles and 15th in tackles.
"Miami is getting not only a great player in Vontae, but a great person as well," said Illinois head coach Ron Zook. "I am so happy for Vontae today. He has worked so hard for this and he deserves it. I know he will represent the University of Illinois well and work to be the best he can be for the Dolphins."
More comments from Davis "I didn't care where I went, but I am relieved and happy I am with the Miami Dolphins. I watched the draft at a restaurant with my family. (It was good to be with my brother, Vernon) He poured water all over my head. He has been great through the process, guided me through it. He told me it was a long process and to be patient," Davis continued.
"I am glad I am with a team like Miami, which knows me as a person. I did a private workout with them last month. It is a great situation for me. They went to playoffs last year and I plan to help them make it further than they did last year.
"After I got drafted, Coach Zook was the first person I called. He taught me as a father not just a coach. He told me just to do what I normally do."