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Terrell Davis
Terrell Davis 1-31-05 050131-N-8102J-020.jpg
Davis in January 2005
Running back
Jersey #(s)
Born October 28, 1972 (1972-10-28) (age 37)
San Diego, California
Career information
Year(s) 19952001
NFL Draft 1995 / Round: 6 / Pick: 196
College Long Beach State
Professional teams
Career stats
Rushing Yards 7,607
Average 4.6
Touchdowns 60
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Terrell Lamar Davis (born October 28, 1972, in San Diego, California) is a former American football running back who played for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League from 1995 to 2001. Davis was drafted by the Broncos in the sixth round (196th pick overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft. Davis is the Denver Broncos all-time leading rusher, with 7,607 rushing yards. When he played, he was often called T.D., for "touchdown," by players, fans and the media.


Early life

In his senior year of high school, the coaches gave him a chance at fullback, in a three back formation. He was given playing time in other positions, including kicker, and helped lead his team to a 12-2 record. Davis set the Lincoln Prep record in the discus throw as a member of the track team. After graduation, Davis went on to play football at Long Beach State University. His brother Reggie Webb was a tailback there before him, and he persuaded the school to grant Davis a scholarship. [1]


At Long Beach State, Davis joined the football team that was coached by former Washington Redskins coach George Allen. The coaches didn't think he was ready to play, so he was redshirted his freshman year in order to give him an extra year of eligibility. Davis never got to play a real game for coach Allen, because Allen died after the end of 1990 season. Davis played the following season and rushed for 262 yards on 55 carries. Long Beach State eliminated its football program due to budget concerns at the end of the 1991 season, ending in a dismal 2–9 record. Davis wanted to continue playing, so he needed to find another school to transfer to. The University of Georgia and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) encouraged Davis to join their teams. Davis ended up choosing Georgia. During his first season at Georgia for the Bulldogs, Davis played backup to Garrison Hearst, one of the leading rushers in college football and a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After Hearst graduated, Davis became the top running back during the 1993 season, and rushed for 824 yards on 167 carries. Davis' senior season at Georgia got off to a rocky start when he aggravated a tear in his hamstring muscle against Tennessee early in the season, which took him out of the lineup for three games. Davis claims coach Ray Goff never liked him and forced him to practice while injured, which led to his torn hamstring. Davis ran for only 445 yards on 67 carries that year, but in his last two games, he rushed for 113 and 121 yards respectively. Those totals got him invited to the Blue-Gray Football Classic game, after another senior running back couldn't play. Davis' reputation for being injury-prone hurt his standing in the NFL draft, along with the fact that Coach Goff denied scouts game film of Davis.[1]

Davis graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer Economics.

Denver Broncos

In 1995, newly-appointed Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan drafted Davis in the 6th Round of the 1995 NFL Draft. Davis entered training camp as the sixth string tailback and was a long shot to make the team. He managed to impress the Broncos coaching staff after his second pre-season game, most notably with a crushing hit as a member of special teams. Davis kept improving with each pre-season game and was promoted to starting running back for the season's opening game.[1] With Davis at running back, the Broncos possessed the potent running attack that they had previously lacked. Davis started 14 games during the 1995 season, carrying the ball 237 times, averaging 4.7 yards per run, and scoring eight touchdowns. Davis finished his season with a total of 1,117 rushing yards, becoming the lowest drafted player to ever gain over 1,000 yards rushing in his rookie season.

In 1996, Davis signed a lucrative new five-year contract with the Broncos that was worth $6.8 million. That season, he rushed for a total of 1,538 yards and set a Denver Broncos record for rushing touchdowns with 13. The Broncos ended that season with a 13–3 record, tied with the Green Bay Packers for the best in the NFL that year.


Super Bowl XXXII

In the Super Bowl, Davis rushed for 157 yards, caught 2 passes for 8 yards, and became the first player in Super Bowl history ever to score 3 rushing touchdowns. This performance earned him MVP honors despite having to sit out the second quarter due to a migraine, an affliction he has suffered with most of his life.

Davis' 8 touchdowns in his three playoff games and the Super Bowl gave him a total of 48 points, the most ever scored in a single postseason. This record would stand until surpassed by kicker Adam Vinatieri's 49 points in the 2006–07 postseason.

Super Bowl XXXIII

In 1998, Davis rushed for 2,008 yards, then the third highest rushing total in history. This performance earned him league MVP honors, his third straight AFC rushing title, his first NFL rushing title, and his second time being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. At the end of the season, the Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, with Davis recording 102 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards.

Super Bowl XXXIII was the last postseason game Davis would play in. In his 8 postseason games from 1996 to 1998, his numbers were staggering: 204 carries for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 19 receptions for 131 yards. This included a streak of 7 consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards, all of which the Broncos won, breaking the previous record for consecutive 100 rushing yard postseason games held by John Riggins (6). Even in the sole playoff game in which Davis didn't gain 100 rushing yards, he still had an impressive performance, rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown and catching 7 passes for 27 yards.

Davis was sent to the Pro Bowl in the 1996, ’97, and ’98 seasons. Nicknamed “TD,” Davis popularized the “Mile High Salute,” a military-style salute given to fans and teammates in celebration of a touchdown.

Later career

After the 1998 season, Davis was plagued with injuries and saw action infrequently. In 1999, Davis tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament of his right knee while trying to make a tackle on an interception thrown against the New York Jets, during the fourth game of the season. This injury kept him out for the remainder of the year.[2]

In 2000, Davis was sidelined for all but five games because of a stress reaction injury in his lower leg. In 2001, he only played in eight games because of arthroscopic surgery on both knees.[2]

Davis retired during the preseason of 2002. He walked through the tunnel in uniform for the final time during a preseason Denver-San Francisco 49ers matchup held at Invesco Field at Mile High. To a standing ovation, he gave a mile-high salute to the fans and was hugged by his teammates. After walking to midfield as the lone Broncos player at the coin toss, Davis retreated to the sideline. He spent the second half in street clothes. The following week, upon his request, he was placed on injured reserve, ending his season and effectively ending his career.[2]

Through his first four seasons, Davis rushed for 6,413 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 56 touchdowns. Among the 24 modern-era Hall of Fame halfbacks and fullbacks, only Earl Campbell (6,457, 4.6 yards per carry) and Eric Dickerson (6,968, 4.8 yards per carry) had more rushing yards during their first four seasons; no member of the Hall of Fame matched Davis’ first-four-season 56 rushing touchdowns. Davis was selected for ESPN's All-Time 40-Man Super Bowl roster as a running back for his performances in Super Bowls XXXII & XXXIII.

Overall, Davis finished his 7 NFL seasons with 7,607 rushing yards, 169 receptions for 1,280 yards, and 65 touchdowns (60 rushing and 5 receiving). He and John Elway are the only two Broncos named league MVP.

Off the field

Davis currently resides in Temecula, California. He wrote an autobiography titled "TD: Dreams in Motion" after his first Super Bowl victory. A chapter was later added to the book covering his NFL MVP season and second championship win.

Davis was on the cover of the video game NFL GameDay 99 by 989 Sports. He made an appearance in Madden NFL 2006, serving as the player's mentor in the new NFL Superstar Mode and adds his voice to the game.


In 2004, Davis was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.[3]

Davis was one of the semifinalists for the 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.[4]

On July 27, 2007, it was announced that Davis would be inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.[5] His induction ceremony took place at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 23, 2007, in a Broncos home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 2006, Davis was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame. [6]


Davis currently serves as an analyst on the NFL Network's NFL Total Access to give a player's perspective on NFL issues.[7]

Davis appeared on Sesame Street in a skit with Elmo and a talking football.[8] Elmo called Davis "the man" and Davis responded, "Thank you, thank you. I try!" It was revealed on America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions that he was supposed to film the episode after a game against the New York Giants in New York City. However, instead, he had to fly back to Denver to practice after the game and then fly back to New York to film the episode.

Davis guest-starred on Disney Channel's The Jersey, in an episode called "They Say It's Your Birthday" along with other sports stars Shannon Sharpe, Tim Brown, Hardy Nickerson and Tony Siragusa. The episode originally aired on October 21, 2000.

Davis appeared on an episode of Sister, Sister at the twins' graduation to give a speech.

Davis appeared on the August 29, 2008 episode of The Colbert Report to analyze the acceptance speech given by U.S. Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama at Invesco Field at Mile High a day earlier.

Legal disputes

In 2001, Davis was named in the Atlanta's Gold Club federal prostitution, fraud and racketeering trial. The owner, Steve Kaplan, initially denied accusations of arranging dancers for athletes, claiming that he was unaware of any sexual encounters.[9] Employee Jana Pelnis testified that she had sex with Davis in the club. Kaplan later pleaded guilty and was fined $5 million.[10] A sentence of three years in jail was put on the table, but Kaplan instead received a sentence of 16 months and 400 hours of community service.[11] Davis was never charged with any criminal wrongdoing. However, Campbell Soups dropped him from their advertising shortly thereafter.

In September 2006, Davis filed a lawsuit against Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. for breach of contract over its refusal to defend him in a lawsuit related to a tussle at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. A judge dismissed Davis' suit against Liberty Mutual in January 2007 after both parties reached a settlement. In the lawsuit against the Roosevelt, Davis claimed he was roughed up by two bouncers during a party at the hotel's Tropicana Bar in October 2005. Davis said he suffered a bruised neck and damage to a surgically repaired hip.[12]

Career rushing statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
Attempts Yards Y/A TDs Rec Yards Y/R TDs
1995 Denver Broncos 14 237 1,117 4.7 7 49 367 7.5 1
1996 Denver Broncos 16 345 1,538 4.5 13 36 310 8.6 2
1997 Denver Broncos 15 369 1,750 4.7 15 42 287 6.8 0
1998 Denver Broncos 16 392 2,008 5.1 21 25 217 8.7 2
1999 Denver Broncos 4 67 211 3.1 2 3 26 8.7 0
2000 Denver Broncos 5 78 282 3.6 2 2 4 2.0 0
2001 Denver Broncos 11 167 701 4.2 0 12 69 5.8 0
Career Denver Broncos 81 1655 7607 4.6 60 169 1280 7.6 5

Post season

Year Team Games Attempts Yards Y/A TDs
1996 Denver Broncos 1 14 91 6.5 1
1997 Denver Broncos 4 112 581 5.2 8
1998 Denver Broncos 3 78 468 6.0 3
Total Denver Broncos 8 204 1140 5.6 12


External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Desmond Howard
NFL Super Bowl MVPs
Super Bowl XXXII, 1998
Succeeded by
John Elway
Preceded by
Brett Favre
Barry Sanders
AP NFL Most Valuable Player
1998 season
Succeeded by
Kurt Warner
Preceded by
Barry Sanders
Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Marshall Faulk
Preceded by
Brett Favre
Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Barry Sanders
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Leonard Russell
Denver Broncos Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Olandis Gary


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