Vernon Davis knew from early on that
The two former University of Maryland Terrapins met on campus and Smith started peppering the pro with questions.
“He was like, ‘What is it like? How do you do this? How do you do that?’” Davis remembers.
“I could tell he was a good guy, hard worker. I knew he wanted to be successful.”
Davis and Smith never played together at Maryland. Smith was just arriving on campus and remembers watching Davis get drafted No. 6 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006 during a Maryland spring game.
But they’ve struck up a close relationship since then. And they’re getting a chance to finally work together on the same field during the joint Ravens-49ers practices.
“It’s awesome,” Smith said. “Vernon is a great guy and someone who I look up to in a lot of ways. He was an inspiration for me.”
Davis tore it up at Maryland. He only played two years, but it was evident that he was too good for the collegiate level. Davis posted 51 catches for 871 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore before declaring for the draft.
Smith was a redshirt junior when he went into the draft. He broke out in 2010 at Maryland, catching 67 passes for 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Terrapin program was known as a poor man’s “linebacker U” in the early 2000s as it produced NFL standouts Shawne Merriman, D’Qwell Jackson, Erin Henderson and E.J. Henderson.
Smith and Davis broke the mold, putting the Terps on the offensive map in the NFL. Now Smith and Davis stand as two of the most successful Maryland alumni to ever reach the pros.
The two players have kept in touch over the years. Smith lives permanently in the area and Davis comes back to Maryland (he was born in Washington, D.C.) to visit his family and train in the offseason. Davis had a huge entourage of 30 people with him Sunday at practice.
“I see him in the offseason all the time, but to see him here practicing is pretty cool,” Smith said.
“It’s great catching up with Torrey, especially because he’s a Terp,” Davis added. “It brings back a lot of memories playing in College Park. It’s definitely been great being back here and seeing my family.”