LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — For the second time in three years, Kentucky had a player chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night.
Linebacker Jamin Davis, a redshirt junior, was selected as the 19th overall pick by Washington after a stellar campaign last season. Davis collected 102 tackles, four for a loss, 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, forced a fumble, and also had a fumble recovery for the Wildcats.
"It's just an unreal feeling and a dream come true," Davis said in a conference call after he was drafted. "I'm just ready to get to work."
Davis had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown in Kentucky’s first win over Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time since 1984.
“Congratulations Jamin Davis on living your dream,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said on Twitter late Thursday night.
During a pro day event in March, Davis had a 42-inch vertical leap and recorded a 4.49 time in the 40-yard dash, which impressed professional scouts.
“He can cover,” NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper said earlier this month. “He has great range, He tested out very well. He’s very instinctive. He’s a really nice player.”
Washington coach Ron Rivera is looking foward to working with Davis in the future.
"He understands our culture, he has a tremendous background, the kind of background that I look for," Rivera said. "Very smart and intelligent young man. …He's what you look for in a football player."
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.