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Vontae Davis, dead at 35, starred at University of Illinois before Pro Bowl NFL career



Vontae Davis, dead at 35, starred at University of Illinois before Pro Bowl NFL career

Former NFL star discovered lifeless in Florida residence

Former NFL star discovered lifeless in Florida residence


Earlier than Vontae Davis grew to become a Professional Bowl NFL cornerback, he starred for 3 seasons on the College of Illinois, taking part in a pivotal function in a dramatic turnaround for the Illini soccer program within the mid-2000s. 

Davis was discovered lifeless Monday morning in a house in Southwest Ranches, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The reason for dying was not instantly identified. He was 35. 

MARLIN LEVISON * Assign. #00004213N October 9, 2008] - GENERAL INFORMATION: Gophers football vs. Illinois.  IN THIS PHOTO: Gophers running back DeLeon Eskridge eluded the tackle of Illinois' Vontae Davis.
Minnesota Gophers working again DeLeon Eskridge eluded the deal with of Illinois’ Vontae Davis.

Marlin Levison/Star Tribune through Getty Photos

“Vontae Davis was a lock-down defender and one of many biggest cornerbacks in Illinois soccer historical past, taking part in a significant function throughout one of many biggest seasons at school historical past when the Illini reached the 2008 Rose Bowl,” mentioned Dave Wischnowsky, a former reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune and WSCR 670 AM. 

Wischnowsky mentioned that when Ron Zook took over at Illinois, he confronted a significant rebuild of the staff’s roster. Davis’ dedication was a major motive why the Illini have been capable of soar from simply two wins in 2006 to 9 wins, together with a victory over No. 1 Ohio State, in 2007.

Davis was a three-year starter and a three-time All-Large Ten honoree, incomes first-team recognition throughout his sophomore and junior seasons earlier than getting into the 2009 NFL Draft. He was chosen a Playboy All-American in 2008. 

Vontae Davis (Picture by Stacy Revere/Getty Photos)

Combating Illini head soccer coach Bret Bielema mentioned whereas he didn’t coach Davis, he did compete towards him as an assistant coach within the NFL.   

Bielema mentioned Davis was a “very liked” participant at Illinois and spoke of Davis’ “ardour” and “depth.” 

“I simply noticed an extremely gifted participant; checked all of the bins,” Bielema mentioned. “I knew he was going to be an excellent, not simply faculty participant, however within the NFL.”

Davis dedicated to the Illini after a standout highschool profession at Dunbar Excessive College in Washington, D.C. He chosen Illinois over Maryland, Michigan State, and Virginia.

He was drafted within the first spherical of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He performed three seasons in Miami and 6 for the Indianapolis Colts, together with two Professional Bowl years in 2014 and 2015. 

He retired at halftime of the season’s first recreation whereas taking part in for the Buffalo Payments in 2018. 

“Extraordinarily saddened to listen to of the passing of Vontae Davis,” Colts proprietor Jim Irsay wrote on X. “An important man, teammate, participant. My prayers to Vontae’s household.”

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