A family affair for new RB Davis
Falcons’ free-agent signee from the West Side comes home.
“It’s really amazing to be home,” said Mike Davis. “You can’t beat it. I’ve got a lot of family here, so it’s real good to be here.”
DANNY KARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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By D. Orlando Ledbetter
dledbetter@ajc.com

AJC FALCONS HOMETOWN TEAMS. HOMETOWN COVERAGE.

The ticket requests have been coming in from all zones across Atlanta for new Falcons running back Mike Davis, who was raised on the West Side and played at Stephenson High.

“It’s really amazing to be home,” Davis said Monday.

“You can’t beat it. I’ve got a lot of family here, so it’s real good to be here.”


After filling for the injured Christian McCaffrey and amassing more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the Carolina Panthers in 2020, Davis was an unrestricted free agent.

Davis agreed to terms March 23 with the Falcons. He signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal, which included a $1.5 million signing bonus, and $3 million of the deal guaranteed.

“The only thing I can say is that Atlanta was the best fit,” Davis said.

Davis is the younger brother of James Davis, who played at Douglass High and Clemson.

He was the Tigers’ leading rusher for four straight seasons from 2005-08. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Browns in the 2009 draft.

“He couldn’t believe it,” Mike Davis said, when he told his brother he was joining the Falcons. The older brother told their mother before Mike Davis could call.

“That’s how happy he was,” Mike Davis said. “He just ruined it for me.”

James is seven years older than Mike and has been looking out for his younger brother for years. James was responsible for Mike ending up at Stephenson and playing for legendary coach Ron Gartrell, who recently retired.

“Coming up from Douglass and being on the West Side of Atlanta all of my life, it was pretty rough growing up,” Mike Davis said.

“My brother got drafted and moved me out to Lithonia area, and coach Gartrell gave me a chance to do something (better) with my life. He saw something in me. I’m really grateful and really appreciative of the opportunity that was given.”

Davis was drafted in the fourth round by the 49ers in 2015. He is coming off his best season in the NFL, when he had 642 yards rushing and 373 yards receiving.

He also scored eight touchdowns for the Panthers in 2020.

Davis signed a two-year, $6 million with Carolina in 2019. He received a $2 million signing bonus and had a base salary of $2.95 million last season.

Davis has played in 65 games and made 22 starts.

He has played with the 49ers (2015-16), Seattle (2017-18), Chicago (2019) and Carolina (2019-20).

Over this career, Davis has 412 carries for 1,531 yards and 11 touchdowns and 125 catches for 803 yards and three touchdowns.

“Never, never thought I’d have the chance to play for the Atlanta Falcons,” Mike Davis said. “It’s really a dream come true.”

“The fact that I can stay at home, wake up in my own bed and not have to borrow furniture or rent a place out, I was all for it.”

A lot of his old pals and long-lost cousins from the city are looking for tickets.

“They’ve been jumping up with joy,” Mike Davis said.

Davis’ dad, Mike Oliver, died Sept. 25, 2019, two years after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“If there was anybody who would be the most excited it would be him,” Mike Davis said. “If anybody wanted me to play for the Falcons, it would be my dad. He’d be going crazy right now. I just wish he could see how far I came and how everything went for me last year just playing for him. He would’ve loved it.”

‘Never, never thought I’d have the chance to play for the Atlanta Falcons.

It’s really a dream come true.’ Mike Davis New Falcons running back from Atlanta