Virginia mourns loss of Tyrone Davis, who died unexpectedly at age 50

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Tyrone Davis (Photo: One Foot Down)

Virginia football lost one of its best receivers from the George Welsh era late Sunday night/Monday morning when Tyrone Davis passed away from an undisclosed illness.

Davis, 50, was a star receiver for the Cavaliers from 1991 to 1994. Recruited from Halifax County High School (Coach Larry Smith) and Fork Union Military Academy (Coach John Shuman), Davis was selected to follow in the footsteps of another Southside Virginia receiver, Herman Moore. Davis did so, breaking Moore’s UVA record for most career touchdown catches (28).

“This is by far one of the hardest posts to write,” said Davis’ older brother, Jeff, on a Facebook post on Monday. “Last night, the Lord opened up heaven and received my baby brother. This is definitely a tough one for me as this was very unexpected.

“Tyrone caught many touchdowns in the NCAA and NFL. Last night, he made the ultimate touchdown completion! Take your rest lil bro. Your race is now complete. Big bro loves you!!”

Davis remains sixth on UVA’s career receiving yardage list with 103 catches for 2,153 yards, and a 20.9 average per catch (second only to Moore’s 22.0). He had the fourth-longest reception in UVA history, a 91-yarder from Matt Blundin against NC State in 1991, Davis’ freshman season.

The big target (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) led Virginia in receiving yards in three of his four seasons — 1991, ‘92 and ‘94. Patrick Jeffers broke that streak in 1993. Davis also led the Cavaliers in receptions in ‘94 with 38. He posted four games of at least 100 yards in receptions over his career, three of them coming his senior year against Navy, North Carolina and Duke (he had 8 TDs in those three games).

Davis went on to become a fourth-round draft choice by the New York Jets (1995-1996), and also played for the Green Bay Packers (1997-2002). He was moved from wide receiver to tight end by the Packers.

Davis played in 75 NFL games and started 27, recording 73 catches for 795 yards and 13 TDs.