Ernie Davis

by Praycious from Roxboro

Ernie Davis with Heisman Trophy (
Ernie Davis with Heisman Trophy (

My hero Ernie Davis was the first African American to win the Heisman trophy for football, and he was the first Syracuse man to achieve the Heisman trophy. Ernie Davis grew up in poverty with his grandfather in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. At the age of 12 he moved to Elmira, New York with his mother and started his football career in the community. During Davis's senior year of high school he was discovered by Syracuse's head coach, Ben Schwartzwalder. During college Davis was an All-American three times, he won the MVP award for the Cotton Bowl, and he won the prestigious Heisman trophy.

Ernie Davis is my hero because he aspired to get the Heisman trophy and would not let anybody get in his way. He was not afraid to play in games in the south, where he was threatened to be killed. He made sure he got what he wanted done, and he was going to take the risks, no matter what. He showed true qualities that any good role model would have; like courage, strength, intelligence, and perseverance.

This gives me inspiration because it shows me that if I really set my mind to what I want to do, I can achieve anything. It also shows me that if I refuse to let anything or anybody slow me down, I will eventually get what I want, even when certain risks are on the table. Knowing Ernie Davis's story gives me confidence. It gives me confidence to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how I want to do it. If somebody inspires you in that way, it shows that they are a true inspiration.

Even though Ernie Davis's career is not even close to what I want to be in life, his position in life really is inspirational to anybody. When I grow up I want to be a famous Broadway producer, and that is a very big dream and I want to achieve it. Big dreams take big efforts and I feel that Ernie Davis lived by that line.

Ernie Davis playing football (
Ernie Davis playing football (

Ernie Davis died of leukemia at the age of 23. Even though he was drafted for the Cleveland Browns, he never actually played a professional football game. Ernie Davis had many mourners at his Wake including John F. Kennedy. He was a well known player and an inspiration to all.

Page created on 6/9/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/9/2009 12:00:00 AM

Related Links

End of the Dream-Time - Explains his life
ESPN Classic - Davis won Heisman, respect - Talks about his sports career
Ernie Davis a Tribute to "The Express" - Describes the relations to the movie and his life