Ben Smith Eagles wide receiver Robert Davis has plenty to be thankful for

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Eagles first-round pick Ben Smith.” data-reactid=”26″ type=”text”>Davis played football at Northside High School in Warner Robins, Georgia, also the hometown of one-time Eagles first-round pick Ben Smith.

As legend has it, he caught only 11 passes in his entire career playing for the Northside Eagles.

Not true.

“Every year it seems like one catch gets added onto it,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve heard 11, but it was actually only seven.”

Seven catches. 

We ran the triple-option, so we didn’t really throw the ball but maybe three or four times a game. My job was really to block a lot, but we won a lot of games. When you’re in high school, especially my mindset, I just wanted to win games. Eventually, when I started thinking about college and stuff like that, I did want to get a couple more catches so college scouts would see me, but it worked out for itself. I was able to show athleticism in the little stuff I did.

But it wasn’t until the 6-foot-3 Davis was playing basketball that a college scout actually spotted him.

Turns out then-Georgia State head coach Trent Miles – who was with the Eagles in 2017 and 2018 as an offensive assistant – was visiting Northside to recruit a linebacker, Trey Payne, and Northside coach Kevin Kinsler gave Miles a heads up about Davis.

He was like, ‘Yeah, we have a guy who can really play, we just don’t get him the ball in our offense, but he has a basketball game today if you want to go check him out.’ So it happened to be a game where I went for 25 points, a couple slam dunks, some blocked shots, and they offered me off that. That was my only offer. That’s one thing to be thankful for. I’m thankful to Trent Miles for giving me a look and a chance to play football.

‘I could barely walk’

Georgia State is located in Atlanta, about an hour and a half north of Warner Robins, and Davis had a fantastic college career for the Panthers, breaking just about every school record, including most career catches (222) and yards (3,391) – second-most in Sun Belt Conference history, behind T.Y. Hilton.

The Redskins drafted him in the sixth round in 2017, and although he was briefly on the 53, he played in only one game and didn’t get a snap on offense.

Back for his second season, Davis was enjoying a very good training camp last summer and competing for a starting job when he crumpled to the ground at practice with torn ligaments and a fractured tibia in his right leg.

It was tough because I worked my whole rookie year, came back my second year, was playing my best football, played against the Patriots, started that game and had one of my best games, so to get hurt the next day in practice was pretty frustrating. But that’s the game. You move on.

After spending a week in a wheelchair and a few months on crutches, Davis was back for the start of camp this past summer and opened the preseason with a bang – a 46-yard TD from Case Keenum against the Browns and a 55-yarder from Dwayne Haskins against the Bengals. 

But he wound up back on the practice squad again and after a brief stint on the 53, when he caught his first – and only – career pass, he was released again.

This time he signed with the Eagles, joining the practice squad last month.

You’re always thankful for opportunities. Last year at this time I could barely walk. So just to be on my own two feet is a great feeling, no matter where I am. But to be part of a winning organization like this? That’s really a plus. It’s been a journey, but it’s one that I’m thankful for.

‘He’s a freak of nature’

Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld was with Davis in Washington during 2017 training camp and was thrilled when he heard the Eagles signed him.

He’s a freak of natu

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