Davis making the most of his second chance

I’m one who thinks everybody deserves a second chance.

All Nate Davis ever wanted was another chance to prove himself.

That’s still all he wants.

The former Bellaire High and Ball State University standout quarterback definitely has the talent to play in the NFL, which he did for part of an ill-fated season with San Francisco.

However, there’s a big difference between competition in the Mid-American Conference and the NFL. He learned that after by-passing his senior season with the Cardinals to pursue his life-long dream of playing on Sundays.

The 49ers seemed like a good fit for Davis because they had no long-term quarterback in place even with No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith in the mix.

It’s no secret that then-head coach Mike Singletary drew a liking to Davis’s skills, and even had a soft spot in his heart for Nate’s learning difficulties because of dyslexia. However, the two really never saw eye-to-eye even though Davis held his own.

While in college in Muncie, Ind., Davis was high on the Indianapolis Colts list and eventually signed with them after being let go by the 49ers and having a brief stint with Seattle.

It seemed like another perfect fit because the Colts’ Peyton Manning was sidelined with a neck injury. However, after just one exhibition game, Davis was released.

Then, after a pair of brief stops in Kansas City and Orlando in the Arena Football League, he was suddenly out of the sport that he has loved – and played – since he was a little kid.

(By the way, the Command and Predators have identical 3-14 records!)

Suddenly, it seemed his football-playing days were over.

With nowhere to go but up, Davis found his way to Amarillo and has set the Texas panhandle town on fire. He has the Venom in Saturday night’s inaugural Lone Star Football League championship game against Rio Grande Valley.

Billed as the “Texas Shoot-Out,” the game between the Venom and Magic will be played inside Foster Communications Coliseum in San Angelo, which will welcome a team – the Bandits – for the 2013 season.

“It feels good,” Davis said earlier this week via telephone from the Lone Star State. “It’s been a total team effort. Everybody has put in some extra time watching film and we’ve all got the same agenda – to win the title.”

For the season, Davis has completed 193 of 343 attempts for 2,666 yards and an eye-popping 58 touchdowns. He has been picked off 16 times.

“I’ve always had confidence in myself,” Davis said. “So my success isn’t surprising to me. It’s all about putting in the extra time watching film and finding out what the opponents’ weaknesses are.

“Everybody has done that,” he added. “Everyone is on the same page. We all want to win this championship.”

Also helping Davis out has been head coach Julian Reese, whose younger cousin played with Davis at Ball State and eventually lured him to the Southwest.

“Coach Reese has really helped me to learn my reads,” Davis allowed. “We watch film all the time, breaking it down. Not just the opposition, but our own tape as well.”

When asked about Rio Grande Valley, which owns a pair of wins (60-42 without Davis and 74-73 with Davis), the mild-mannered Davis replied, “they are a real different team from when I played against them earlier in the season. Both of their starting defensive backs are now on our team, and one of our guys is on their team.”

One thing Davis does know is that Magic quarterback Billy Garza is a good one.

In 13 games, the University of Illinois recruit who transferred to Texas A&M-Kingville, has completed 265 of 515 passes for 3,498 yards and an amazing 68 touchdowns. He has tossed 27 interceptions.

“He’s good, but we just have to play our game.”

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com