Happy 25th, Vontae Davis!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Vontae Davis

Celebrating his 25th birthday Sunday is former Illini defensive back Vontae Davis. He was a three-year starter at Illinois from 2006 to ’08, recording seven interceptions and 206 tackles. Davis earned first-team All-Big Ten honors his sophomore and junior seasons, then decided to forgo his senior season to enter the 2009 NFL draft. The Washington, D.C., native was a first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins— the 25th selection overall. Vontae and his brother, Vernon, became the third pair of siblings to be first-round NFL draft choices, joining Peyton and Eli Manning and Jerome and Stockar McDougle. Vontae had a standout rookie season in the NFL, becoming the second Miami rookie to lead the team in interceptions. In his second season as a pro, Davis was a starter in all of the team’s games. In 2011, he was a starter in all 12 of the games in which he played, notching a Dolphins-leading four interceptions, picking off Rex Grossman, Tony Romo, Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Davis played for the Indianapolis Colts last season, making 10 starts and intercepting three passes. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Houston Texans on Dec. 30, 2012, racking up five tackles, two picks and three pass deflections. The Colts lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, with Davis starting at right cornerback in his first postseason game. Also in 2012, he was a contributor to Operation HOPE’s Banking On Our Future (BOOF) and the Entrepreneurship Training Program at the HOPE Financial Dignity Center in Washington, D.C.

Illini Birthdays
Sunday: Jack Dombroski, football (59)
Monday: Leo Oka, gymnastics (36)
Tuesday: Bogie Redmon, basketball (70)
Wednesday: Scott Doney, football (55)
Thursday: Danny Clark, football (36)
Friday: Guy Teafatiller, football (49)
Saturday: Ken Kolar, football (58)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

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