American Football Database
Art Davis
File:Art Davis (American football).png
Davis from The 1963 Blue Print
No. 22, 45     
Halfback/ DB
Personal information
Date of birth: (1934-11-29) November 29, 1934 (age 87)
Place of birth: Clarksdale, Mississippi
High School: Clarksdale (MS)
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
College: Mississippi State
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 1956 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1956
Games Played/ Started     9/ 0
Rushing Atts/ Yds/ TDs     5/ 6/ 0
Receptions/ Yds/ TDs     1/ 9/ 0
Punt Returns/ Yds     5/ 6
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Arthur Ganong "Art" Davis (born November 29, 1934) is a former American football player who played a single season in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Early life

Davis was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi where he attended Clarksdale High School.[1] He received a football scholarship to Mississippi State after missing his entire senior high school football season with a broken leg.[1]

Football career

At Mississippi State, Art Davis began his college football career starting at defensive back in 1952 against defending National Champion, University of Tennessee. In 1953, Davis caught a touchdown pass from Jackie Parker to tie Ole Miss 7–7, knocking the Rebels out of Cotton Bowl contention. In 1954, Davis was voted the Southeastern Conference's Most Valuable Player (Nashville Banner, Atlanta Constitution) where he scored 10 touchdowns and grabbed 4 interceptions playing both ways. In that '54 campaign, Davis scored four touchdowns against LSU (3 rushing, 1 interception return) in a 25–0 win at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. In 1955, he was named first team All America by FWAA/Look Magazine and their National Player of the Year. He was voted as the top defensive back and 2nd best running back in the SEC (Atlanta Constitution). During the '55 season, playing with a separated shoulder and injured knee at Auburn, Davis ran for a touchdown, passed for another score, had a 54 yard punt and made 11 unassisted tackles in a 27–26 loss.[citation needed]

Davis played in the Senior Bowl, Blue-Gray Game (Gray team captain, 2 interceptions) and College All-Star Game. He also ran track and was nosed out by a photo-finish in the SEC Championship 100 yard dash. His best time in the 100 yard dash was 9.8 seconds.[citation needed] In 2004, he was honored as an SEC Football Legend at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011, Davis was honored as a Mississippi Football Legend by the Jackson Touchdown Club. Davis is also a member of the Mississippi State and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.[citation needed]

Davis was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1956 NFL Draft.[1] He was limited during his rookie season in 1956 by an injured shoulder which he suffered in the College All-Star Game vs. the Cleveland Browns as well as a knee injury he sustained in college and again with the Steelers.[2] The knee injury would also sideline him for the 1957 season.[2] He announced his retirement from football prior to the 1958 season.[3]

After professional football, Davis was an assistant coach at LSU, Georgia Tech and the University of Texas (1963 National Champions). Under Coach Darrell Royal, the Longhorns beat Navy, 28–6, in the 1964 Cotton Bowl.[citation needed]

Davis's older brother, Harper, was an all-SEC, four-year starter at Mississippi State and is a 2002 SEC Football Legend inductee. Harper is also as a member of the Mississippi State and State of Mississippi Sports Halls of Fame. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Dons, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers and was later the Head Football Coach at Millsaps College (1962–1986) in Jackson, Mississippi.[citation needed]


Davis married Frances Habig of Jackson, Mississippi in 1956.[4] They now reside in Wilsonville, Oregon.[citation needed]


External links