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Mom knows best: Jordan Davis' mother started the road to becoming an Eagle

DT Jordan Davis with his family, including his mother, Shay Allen
DT Jordan Davis with his family, including his mother, Shay Allen

After a night to remember in Las Vegas on Thursday, Jordan Davis arrived at his new home on Friday afternoon.

The Eagles' first selection in the 2022 Draft, picked No. 13 overall after a trade with the Houston Texans, arrived at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia with his family at his side. He met with coaches and walked through the Eagles' facility before his official introduction to the media.

Gone was the flashy, Georgia-inspired custom suit and championship ring. This time, Davis sported a black Eagles polo and held up his brand-new No. 90 jersey. It was time to get down to business.

"It's been crazy, this whole experience," Davis said. "The fact that I'm even here right now is still surreal. It hasn't hit me yet but I'm definitely excited to be here. I'm grateful to have my family here and it's just a wonderful opportunity."

It wasn't Davis' first trip to the NovaCare Complex. The Eagles invited Davis to Philadelphia as part of the pre-draft process. His agency helped settle on three teams to visit: the Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles' trade with the Texans leap-frogged them directly over the Ravens who were sitting at 14. The Cowboys stayed at 24.

"I definitely thought that whoever was going to be first was going to pick me up," Davis said. "I'm glad y'all made the jump."

"It just tells you how much they really wanted you," Davis added. "Just to know that they wanted you this bad, they had plans for you, they knew that you were going to add value to their team, it makes you feel really special and really wanted. I always want to go where I'm wanted."

The selection hit home for Davis. Although he was born and raised in North Carolina, his mother, Shay Allen, is an Eagles fan. Her love for the Birds stemmed from her love for Donovan McNabb when she was in college. She specifically mentioned his Campbell's Chunky Soup commercial when she met with reporters after Davis' press conference. She stayed loyal to her team.

Davis has his mother to thank for getting into football. As he hit his growth spurt early in high school, Allen said she had trouble keeping up with Davis' growing appetite. When Davis transferred to Mallard Creek High School, he was immediately recruited to the school's football team. His mom was sold purely on their summer practices – which had breakfast and lunch included.

"He will be here," Allen said with a laugh. "Tell me what day it starts. I'll drop him off. I don't care if he's a waterboy or doing equipment, because that will save me on my grocery bill."

Davis was primarily a basketball player before he got into football. It wasn't until his junior year that his knowledge of the game began to match his physical talent. The offers started rolling in and he began to realize he had a future in the game. He chose Georgia over the likes of Clemson and Miami.

"I tried it, I liked it, it was a challenge," Davis said. "It was one of those sports where I had to learn my way up. First starting out, I was on JV and now I'm playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. It's a crazy experience, it's the journey of a lifetime and it took a long time in the making. It took a lot of dedication."

Davis said his mother kept her cool when he was selected by her favorite team on Thursday night. That's Allen's personality – calm and measured.

She works as a teacher, an after-school tutor, and picked up a third job at their local YMCA. She plans to keep working, citing her independence and work ethic. But she's also getting set to move up to Philadelphia to be with Davis. Whether she lives with her son or is just nearby is still "up for debate."

"Wherever I'll be, if I'm not with him, I'll be very close," Allen said. "My motto is, 'It takes a village.' You can't allow one of the younger villagers to leave without some wisdom and guidance. I want him to have a strong foundation where he is."

Luckily for Allen, her son's new teammates are already making him feel welcomed. Davis said Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts called him Thursday night and shared his excitement.

Davis was quick to tell Hurts he's "ring chasing." He's coming from a Georgia team that won a National Championship last season and then sent five defensive players to the NFL in just the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

On that historic Georgia defense, Davis was asked to serve mostly in a nose tackle role, using his size and power up the middle of the defensive line to draw multiple offensive linemen and open the field for pass rushers around him. It kept him from getting flashy sack numbers (seven in four seasons) but helped establish a dominant Bulldog front seven.

Davis told reporters Thursday night that he sees a lot of similarities between the defensive schemes at Georgia and the Eagles. He's ready to serve in whatever role Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon and his staff see fit.

"I always say, 'two on me, somebody's free,'" Davis said. "Everybody is pulling in the same direction. There's no individuality on the team. I don't want to be that individual. I want to be a team player."

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