Kenneth Davis is one of the greatest players to come through Fort Worth, and now he will try to make his mark nationally, having been nominated on the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the 2018 class.
Davis, who was an unanimous All-American in 1984 after rushing for 1,611 yards (the third best season in TCU history) and 16 touchdowns on an insane 7.6 yards per carry. He was fifth in the Heisman voting that year and was named the Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year after that campaign. His incredible season led the Frogs back to a bowl game for the first time in 19 years. In a career cut short by a booster scandal - Davis played just one game his senior season before being suspended for taking money - he had 2,904 yards and 24 total touchdowns, the latter being the eighth best mark in TCU history. He also had nine 100 yard games across his just over three year career.
Davis would have likely been a Heisman candidate and first round draft pick that senior year if not for the scandal, but went on to be picked by the Green Bay Packers in the second round instead. He had no hard feelings about the suspension, saying upon being drafted: "I accept being wrong. I can admit being wrong. I was young, but I never thought about it [taking the money]. My desire was to play ball. I loved to play for the man [coach Jim Wacker]. I loved to play for the school. I’ve got more fond memories than hardship memories."
As a rookie, he led the team in rushing with 519 yards and was an excellent special teams receiver and pass-catcher out of the backfield as well. After a sophomore season cut short by injuries, Davis signed with the Buffalo Bills, where he became an excellent compliment to Thurman Thomas and helped lead the team to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Though he would never have a 1,000 yard season, Thomas’ nine year career was undeniably effective, as he finished with 3,513 rushing yards on a 4.3 ypc average with 27 touchdowns, caught 135 balls for 878 yards and a another five scores, and returned 42 kickoffs for 707 yards.
Davis returned to North Texas after his retirement, where he became the Athletic Director at Dallas’ Bishop Dunne Catholic School after a stint as head football coach.
If he were to be elected early next year, Davis would be the 12th former Frog to become a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, joining:
• Sam Baugh, Quarterback, 1951
• Davey O’Brien, Quarterback, 1955
• Madison A. Bell, Coach, 1955
• Dutch Meyer, Coach, 1956
• Ki Aldrich, Center, 1960
• Rags Matthews, End, 1971
• Francis Schmidt, Coach, 1971
• Jim Swink, Halfback, 1980
• Bob Lilly, Defensive Tackle, 1981
• Darrell L.ester, Center, 1988
• LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back, 2014.