The Pittsburgh Steelers selected seventh round draft pick Carlos Davis in the 2020 NFL Draft. The defensive tackle was the 232nd overall pick out of Nebraska.
Overcoming Adversity at a Young Age
Davis grew up in Blue Springs, Missouri. He played football at Blue Springs High School alongside his twin brother, Khalil.
At just nine months old, the twins were adopted after being in foster care for a few months. Their biological mother suffered from drug addiction and mental illness.
Carlos Davis weighed in at 275 pounds by the time he was a high school senior. He finished that season with 64 tackles and 33 tackles for loss. He also had 18 sacks and played on both the offensive and defensive line for the Wildcats.
Both Carlos and Khalil committed to Nebraska in the spring of 2014. They also had offers from schools like Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri.
The twins chose Nebraska in part because their uncle, Lorenzo Hicks, played there in the 80s.
“He never forced Nebraska on us, but we knew it would make his day, make his life, if we chose Nebraska,” Khalil said of Hicks. “He told us how much it meant to him to be a Blackshirt. He’s the one who really taught us what it means to play here, and what it means to be a Blackshirt.”
College Years at Nebraska
After redshirting his freshman season, Davis went on to start a successful career as a Husker.
In 2016, he played in all 13 games, making four starts as a defensive tackle. He finished the year with 11 solo tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.
As a redshirt sophomore, Davis recorded 42 tackles and six quarterback hurries.
In 2018, he broke up five passes, the most pass breakups by a Nebraska defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
Despite the twins both playing for Nebraska, they did not play on the field together until their senior season.
“Early on, we knew we might not be starters, or start the game together, but we always knew we’d be able to do what we love, and do it together,” Carlos said. “It didn’t matter if we were on the field at the same time.
During the 2019 season, Davis totaled 32 tackles and four sacks.
While Davis excelled at football, he was also an all-American discus thrower during his time at Nebraska.
What Draft Pick Carlos Davis Brings to the Table
The Steelers have a habit of selecting a defensive lineman each year towards the end of draft weekend. This year was no different, but Davis might be just the lineman to halt a trend of late-round failures in Pittsburgh.
It’s truly a blessing!! A dream come true. @steelers let’s get to work!!
— Carlos Davis (@_KING_LOS__) April 25, 2020
During the Steelers’ virtual rookie minicamp, Davis talked to the media about his role on the team and how he has been preparing.
“I am quick, I am getting better at pass rush,” Davis said. “My speed and my weight, I am good at using it and using it on the football field. I just have to keep working on my rush and executing.”
Pittsburgh’s defensive line coach, Kyle Dunbar, will need to capitalize on Davis’ potential in order to escalate an already successful defense.
Davis is excited to also have the opportunity to learn from players like Cameron Heyward.
“It’s going to be huge to learn from him,” said Davis. “He has done everything I am doing now so he is going to have some great advice. He is a seasoned player and knows more than I do. I have to soak up everything I can from him.”
Featured Image Courtesy of Husker Athletics
“From Our Haus to Yours“