Ernie Davis: The First African American Football

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Ernie Davis was a remarkable young man who influenced several people in his era. He explored several things, but one was huge for him, and the black community as a whole. He was the first African American to win the prolific Heisman trophy and the first to be selected first in the NFL Draft. He encountered several obstacles in his lifetime as well. He had to overcome racism while playing football at Syracuse University and with his short term in the NFL. This was odd to white people during this time that a African American could be the best player in the country. Lastly, he exchanged several ideas to African Americans, and he made them believe that anything was possible for them and that they could do what he was doing. Overall, Ernie Davis…show more content…
Early in Ernie Davis’s life he attended the Elmira Free Academy for high school where he exceled in basketball, football, and baseball. He was an All-American in basketball and football his senior year of high school. This is unbelievable considering it is difficult to be an All-American in one sport. Although Davis shined in basketball, his first love was football and top programs for college football were recruiting him. He looked up to Jim Brown and wanted to follow in his footsteps at Syracuse University. So, Ernie graduated from high school and committed to Syracuse University to play football and to further his education. Ernie was one of the few African Americans to attend Syracuse and also one of the few to play a sport at Syracuse. Ernie couldn’t play football his freshman year because this was a rule at this time in the 1950’s and 60’s. The next year Ernie started as the halfback for the Syracuse Orangemen. In his sophomore year in 1960, Ernie rushed for 686 yards on 98 carries and 10 touchdowns and on route to win the national championship and Heisman trophy. This may not sound promising nowadays, but this was considered unbelievable considering people didn’t run the football as much. This season was definitely in his prime, and this season was considered one of the best in college football history. This spectacular season led him to earning the nickname “The Elmira express”. He earned this nickname by being a train on the football field, and this is basically saying that nobody could stop him. This nickname could only suit the one and only Ernie Davis. As a player Ernie explored new heights for African Americans and young athletes everywhere. At the end of the season Ernie Davis’s name was called as the 1960 Heisman winner and the world changed that day. The world didn’t agree that an African

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