Davis finalizes deal with AFL squad

Nate Davis is on the move.

The former Bellaire High and Ball State University standout quarterback signed late Tuesday with the San Antonio Talons of the Arena Football League.

He will be the starting quarterback Friday night when the Talons travel to Tampa Bay to meet the Storm.

“It feels great to be here,” the 6-2, 230-pounder said Thursday night from San Antonio. “This is another opportunity for me, and I want to take full advantage of it.”

For the past season and two games, Davis has quarterbacked the Amarillo Venom of the Lone Star Football League. The Venom captured the inaugural LSFL championship last season under Davis’ leadership, and were off to a strong 2-0 start this year.

“I have enjoyed my time (in Amarillo) and want to thank this community for wrapping its arms around me and this organization,” he said. “I have enjoyed these guys and wish them the best on their way to another championship.

“I made a lot of friends in Amarillo, but everyone there knew what my goals were, and still are,” he added. “This is just another step towards my goal of reaching the NFL again.”

Amarillo head coach Julian Reese, although sad to see Davis leave, is happy for him, as well.

“It shows the type of talent we have here in Amarillo, which in turn will help us bring in more talent,” Reese said. “When players see that guys who are here in our organization are getting picked up by the Arena League, Canadian League, and the NFL, it makes us a great place for guys to want to come and play.”

In just two games this season, Davis had completed 42 of 72 passes (58.3%) for 359 yards and nine touchdowns, He had been picked off just twice and was averaging 179.5 yards per game.

Amarillo owner Stephanie Tucker had nothing but praise for Davis.

“Nate has been great for our organization and for the city of Amarillo,” she said. “Part of the mission of our league is to help players advance to the next level. We are thrilled that he is getting this opportunity in San Antonio.”

The opportunity for Davis arose when the Talons signed veteran AFL quarterback John Dutton after GJ Kinne was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Dutton won an AFL championship in 2005 with the Colorado Crush where he was teammates with Jose Davis, Nate’s older brother.

“We are thrilled to have Nate Davis join the Talons,” San Antonio head coach Lee Johnson, who was on the Washington Redskins Super Bowl-winning team in 1991, said. “His experience in the league, playing for Orlando last season, will be a huge asset to the team. I coached Davis’ brother (Jose) in Colorado so I am familiar with him and his family. He knows the game, and with our current quarterbacks injured, this is a great opportunity for him.”

The need to sign Davis came about when Dutton was placed on injured reserve and Rohan Davey, of LSU, suffered a foot injury.

In three weeks (April 28), the Talons travel to Pittsburgh to meet the Power inside Consol Energy Center.

“I’m definitely excited about coming close to home to play, but I’m still taking one game at a time,” Davis said.

The Talons, who are currently 0-2, also signed quarterback Nick Hill.

This will be Davis’ third stint in the AFL. He spent part of last season with the Kansas City Brigade and the Orlando Predators before signing on with Amarillo.

Davis was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. On Aug. 22, 2009, Davis made his professional debut in a pre-season game against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Coming into the game in the third quarter, Davis led the offense to three scores in the fourth quarter, including a two-point conversion, to win the game.

In the following pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys, Davis completed 10 of 15 passes for 132 yards and led two scoring drives in the final quarter, leading his team to a 20-13 victory.

On Sept. 6, 2010, Davis was cut by the San Francisco 49ers before being signed to their practice squad on September 8. The Seattle Seahawks signed Davis to a reserve/future contract on January 11, 2011, only to cut him on March 3.

On July 26, it was reported that he had agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived Davis less than a month later.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com