An outstanding all-around athlete in high school, David was recruited to Grambling by its renowned coach, Eddie Robinson.
Davis’s mother feared for his safety if he played college football, but Robinson assured her that all would be well.
Davis became a black college All-American, and Grambling went unbeaten in 1955, his senior season.
Pro scouts were on hand to see Willie Galimore, the star running back for Florida A&M, play against Grambling in that season’s Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, an annual postseason game matching Florida A&M against another historically black college. Galimore went on to be an outstanding runner for the Chicago Bears, but Davis caught the scouts’ eyes as well, making a host of tackles in Grambling’s victory.
Davis gained little notice playing two seasons for the Browns, but Lombardi liked what he saw in game films and obtained him in a 1960 trade for A.D. Williams, a receiver, who would last only two more seasons in the league.
As a student, Davis was on the dean’s list at Grambling, majoring in math and industrial arts, and he obtained a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1968, having attended classes in his off-seasons.
After leaving football, he forged a highly successful business career. He owned a beer and wine distributorship in Los Angeles, headed the radio network All-Pro Broadcasting and was a board member of many corporations.
Davis was married three times. His survivors include his wife, Carol; a son, Duane, and a daughter, Lori, from his first marriage; and four grandchildren.