Former Maryland linebacker Isaiah Davis says although he has long been in the shadow of his brother, the two of them help each other get better — and for Davis, that’s particularly helpful in his preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Davis’ brother, Sean, played for Maryland from 2012-2015 and is now a four-year NFL veteran. Isaiah, a native of Temple Hills, Md., followed in his brother’s footsteps and became a Terp. At Maryland, Isaiah sought to break out of his brother’s shadow. Sean had authored a successful career since his days at Maret School in D.C. and at Maryland.
Though Isaiah was an All-Interstate Athletic Conference performer as a junior and senior at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.) — he rushed for 1,206 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior — it wasn’t until he became a Terp that his brother’s shadow began to fade.
“Especially coming into college, I felt that I started to make a name for myself,” Isaiah said on Glenn Clark Radio March 31. “My redshirt freshman year, I was starting on every special team and then I ended up earning a starting job my following year. Being Sean’s younger brother was something that I had to battle with growing up. But as I matured into a man and matured into my role as a leader for the Terps, that shadow started to diminish a little and I kind of came into my own.”
Sean recently signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins. Before signing with his hometown team, Sean played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2016-2019. He was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Sean, a 6-foot-1, 202-pound safety, became the first Maryland player since D’Qwell Jackson (2005) to reach 200 career solo tackles. He finished with 319 total tackles, five interceptions, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his four-year career.
Being in his brother’s shadow never stopped Isaiah from reaching out to Sean for advice. After his games, his father and Sean were the first people he talked to.
“My biggest critics are my brother, my father and myself,” Isaiah said. “They’re the first people I talked to after a game before coaches or before fellow teammates. [Sean] is always offering advice, suggestions, tips, criticism, just anything to help me be a better player.”
Isaiah, a 6-foot-2, 234-pound inside linebacker, finished his career at Maryland with 233 total tackles. Sean has been a resource for Isaiah since his Pop Warner days.
“We’re always trying to make each other better,” Isaiah said. “Iron sharpens iron, and it’s good to have him as a resource because since the Pop Warner days he’s always been helping me out, showing me what to do, giving me tips.”
Since Sean has been in the NFL for four seasons, he has become a valuable resource for Isaiah in preparing for the draft.
“Him being in the league for so long and now me also trying to get in the league, I literally have a firsthand resource on what to do,” Isaiah said. “How to handle interviews, the best way to prepare for a workout, really anything I would need to know I can get that information with a quick text from my brother.”
Now, Isaiah will try to follow in his brother’s footsteps once more and hear his name called in the draft. When speaking about the idea of playing for the Baltimore Ravens, one person came to mind: Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is the great Ray Lewis,” Isaiah said. “He’s the ultimate football player and in my point of view the ultimate Raven. So, to be able to play linebacker for the Ravens, that would be incredible and [would be] shoes I couldn’t even imagine filling. … I can’t imagine anyone really being more of an impressive player than Ray Lewis.”
After dropping 15 pounds for the 2019 season, Isaiah says he feels quicker and is ready to make plays all over the field.
“Something a scout definitely looks for is a player who can adapt, and I can definitely I can be that guy,” Isaiah said. “A jack of all trades on the defensive side of the ball. It’s definitely a benefit to have size, speed and power.”
For more from Davis, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics