Washington, DC – This week Akeem Davis will participate in a mandatory three-day mini-camp at Redskins Park, as the team completes the final section of organized team activities prior to training camp in late July. After the final practice on Thursday afternoon, Davis will board a plane for his hometown of Laurel, MS and the inaugural edition of the AD47 Football Leadership Academy on Saturday, June 20th on the same high school field where he won a state title and ignited his storied path to the NFL. For 53 Laurel-area children, the AD47 Academy provides a free, one-day football skills clinic promoting leadership, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. As the second-year safety works to make his mark on the NFL field, he keeps a humble eye toward building a legacy in his community back home. For Davis, AD47 is not about giving back, but rather, a chance to pay it forward.
Akeem “The Dream” Returns Home to Teach Kids About Goals, Character, and Football After being featured on the NFL Network’s hit series Undrafted, Davis was affectionately known to fans as Akeem The Dream. Distinguished by his work ethic, humility and odds-defying path to the NFL, Davis became a source of inspiration for parents, players, and viewers across the country. It was that same focus and dedication that lead to the formulation of the AD47 Football Leadership Academy.
“Being a good athlete simply isn’t enough,” says Davis. “You’ve got to be a good person. The technique you learn on the field will help you become a better player, but the tools that you develop to improve and strengthen your character will stay with you long after you play your final snap. That’s what I want these kids to realize and appreciate at a young age.”
With the support of the Laurel Mayor, School Board, Chief of Police and a variety of local businesses and community leaders, Davis will launch the inaugural AD47 on Saturday morning (June 20) at Laurel High School. Online registration—run through USA Football—filled in a matter of minutes, leaving many standing on the sidelines in Year 1.
“For the first year, we selected 53 slots, which is the same number as an NFL game day roster,” said Davis. “I knew that would mean a lot of kids could not participate in the first year, but all are welcome to attend and watch from the stands. The camp itself is restricted to registered
participants, but anyone in town is welcome to watch from the stadium stands…or ‘between the bricks’ as we say in Laurel.”
Davis will be joined by Redskins teammate Das McCullum (Hebron, MS) and former Memphis LB Kenyata Johnson (Jackson, MS), along with Laurel HS Head Coach Todd Breland and a group of top-notch coaches, speakers, and advisors. “We will have breaks throughout the camp, where we pair water/snacks with a separate discussion on each of the four pillar values of the AD47 program: Character, Leadership, Discipline, and Follow-Through,” says Davis.
“I know a lot of people call me Akeem the Dream, but the truth is that to be successful in life, these kids have to learn how to convert their dreams into goals. I am living proof that if you have a goal, accompanied by character, discipline and follow-through, then anything is possible.”
Davis played QB and became and stand-out student athlete at Laurel High School. After a brief stop at Jones County Junior College, he accepted a scholarship offer to play at the University of Memphis. In college, the 6’1 220lb Davis was converted to DB, where he exceled at Safety. After graduating from Memphis (with distinction) he was passed over in the NFL Draft and was not signed as an Undrafted Free Agent. Undeterred, Davis worked for an entire year, training and preparing to make it into the League. In 2014, he participated in a Regional Combine in Atlanta, where Redskins scouts noticed the athletic Davis on a crowded field of former Division I players. He was signed to a rookie contract soon thereafter and became a stand-out special teams player in his first NFL season. Davis’s determination and work ethic were chronicled on the popular Undrafted television series.
About AD47 Football Leadership Academy:
In its inaugural year, the AD47 Academy is a free, one-day football skills clinic for school children ages 8-12, promoting leadership, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. It is founded by NFL player Akeem Davis (Laurel, MS) and sanctioned by the NFL Foundation in conjunction with the FUNdamentals Program of USA Football. It will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 07:00 CST at Laurel High School. Davis formed AD47 with a vision of providing guidance and character development to children during what many consider to be their most impressionable age window. The AD47 program focuses on four core pillars: Character, Leadership, Discipline and Follow-Through. For more information, please visit: www.AD47academy.com