Dyshawn Davis doesn’t need any more motivation against Penn State on Saturday. He’s been practicing all summer and all preseason to get ready for this game and the ones that follow.
But Davis, a junior linebacker and one of Syracuse’s most explosive players, has a bit extra to play for. His great-grandparents, Dorothea and Raymond Davis, will be in attendance at MetLife Stadium. That’s all the motivation he needs.
“To see them coming to this game,” Davis said, “I know they’re going to be fired up in the stands.”
Dorothea, 72, and Raymond, 74, will be watching their great-grandson play for the second time during his college career.
The Philadelphia-area natives made the short trip to Temple last season. Davis finished with a season-high six solo tackles and a sack. Just knowing his great-grandparents were there elevated his game, he said.
“I just remember last year during the Temple game, that feeling man,” Davis said. “I just kept looking back at my grandparents. I’ve come a long way.”
But this is the first time they’re traveling to see him play, which makes it that much more special.
“They don’t have any teeth,” Davis said. “’You’re just going to see all gums and them smiling, so happy.”
Davis and his great-grandparents talk on the phone all the time. He said they start to get emotional when they think about how far he’s come. They always tell him how proud they are.
Davis lived with his great-grandparents as a child. They were in their 60s and he wasn’t 6 feet 2 inches, 220 pounds quite yet. But as Davis has grown up and become stronger, he’s seen his great grandfather get weaker.
Raymond Davis suffers from a serious case of diabetes and is now in a wheelchair, which makes traveling to games that much more difficult.
Dorothea, though, is energetic and takes care of Raymond, just like she took care of Dyshawn when he was a child. Davis said his great-grandmother “helps (Raymond) fight the good fight” with his diabetes.
She still runs around the house all the time and gets excited regularly, Davis said. All at the age of 74.
“My grandma, she’s not in a wheelchair,” Davis said. “She’s pretty shifty, a little bit.”
Davis plans to see his great-grandparents, and cars full of other family members, on Saturday when he returns to his home state of New Jersey. The excitement is building and he’s fully prepared to put on a show for the people who have helped get him to this point in his life.
Said Davis: “Words can’t even describe the feeling that I have as the day gets closer and closer.”
Published on August 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Contact Trevor: email@example.com | @TrevorHass