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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Saints |


New Orleans Saints

Saints - Demario Davis - 7on7

Demario Davis


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Linebacker Arkansas State 11

Excellence on the Field:

Since signing with New Orleans in 2018, Demario Davis has made an instant impact to the defense and team as a whole, as he was immediately voted as a team captain. As a unit in 2021, the New Orleans defense ranked fourth in opponent yards per game, also ranked first in the NFL in opponent red zone touchdown percentage, second in opponent first down and rushing first downs, fourth in scoring defense, opponent net yards per play and run defense and seventh in total defense.

Before the start of the 2022 season, this dependable and sure-tackling defender led the Saints in stops for the fourth straight season and was selected as an Associated Press All-Pro for the third consecutive season, posting 105 tackles, three sacks and seven passes defensed. For his career, the Brandon, Miss. native has missed only one game and played in 160 regular season contests with 146 starts for the Saints, Jets (2012-15, 2017), and Cleveland Browns (2016), recording 1,105 tackles (733 solo), 29.5 sacks, two interceptions, 45 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 24 special team stops.

Through 9 games this season, he has accounted for 50 tackles (29 solo), 6 sacks, and 2 passes defensed. Demariohas played 153 games with 139 starts and has 967 career tackles (581 solo).

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

Saints Man of the Year, Demario Davis, is unapologetically steadfast in his faith and has been often quoted saying, "The Bible tells us in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good for those called according to his purpose." As a devout Christian, Demario knows that he has been called to serve a purpose in life that is far superior to simply being a great athlete. He is continuously a vessel of positive influence, change, and support for our community. Demario recently hosted a youth-focused/student-athlete gun-violence forum to address the ongoing issues related to gun violence in the New Orleans community at Dillard University, in partnership with Players Coalition and other local prominent organizations like Hope Initiative, Greater New Orleans, Inc., and New Orleans Strategic Business Alliance. The intent of the event was to create a safe space to exchange real, open dialogue amongst local youth who are most immediately faced with the current influx of gun violence, identify actionable steps to making systemic changes, and identify the role sports plays in alleviating those issues.

With a mission to accelerate economic mobility in under-resourced communities by increasing capacity and creating opportunity to be self-sufficient, Demario co-founded S.H.I.E.L.D. 1. The organization's impact priorities focus on Enterprise, Education, Infrastructure, and Agriculture in Minneapolis, Buffalo, and New Orleans. In New Orleans specifically, S.H.I.E.L.D. 1 is working to develop an Ag-Tech Innovation Hub that would bring employment, housing, health, and wellness opportunities and resources serving marginalized communities within the city.

Demario's Devoted Dreamers Foundation (which was launched in 2013) continues to offer an incredible amount of support to the people in the communities of both Louisiana and his home state of Mississippi. Together with his wife, Tamela, he has hosted several "Dinner with the Davises" events in local community parks to help encourage and foster family dining and serve as an opportunity to feed, fellowship, and engage in fun activities with community neighbors. He has also hosted his Annual "Dining for Dreams" Celebrity Waiter Dinner event to raise funds for his foundation's programming. While Demario's Devoted Dreamers Foundation supports many community efforts, its 7on7 Football Team continues to thrive with a primary purpose to serve as a mentorship program for talented young athletes who are prepared academically, athletically, and spiritually. Demario's most exciting effort this year was the creation of his Devoted Dreamers Academy which will be a new school for 8th-12th grade students set to open Fall of 2023 in New Orleans. His goal is to provide scholarship opportunities for at least 50% students in the New Orleans community. He also led a 3-day workshop to youth in the summer focused on Web3 technology. 

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

Demario has been recognized often in years past by many organizations, but was also the Saints Man of the Year nominee in 2020. Previously through his Devoted Dreamer Foundation, he hosted mentorship events with his 7on7 football teams as well as his Devoted Dreamers Encounter Conference, Go On Girl Conference, and P.E.A.R.L.S. for Girls virtual event. As a United Way Brand Ambassador, he often lends his voice to speak about passionate causes and provided a matching donation to United Way's Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund, which offered crisis grants to hospitality workers in need. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, he promoted a team captains-led campaign that provided monetary support to United Way to assist affected community residents. Demario was also selected as 2020 Court Watch NOLA Honoree as well. He led a team-wide #SAYHERNAME effort to bring light to the Black women who have been victims of police brutality as well as the plights Black women may face in everyday life. He also wrote an op-ed on police reform that was featured in Newsweek and previously co-hosted a Listen & Learn event with the Orleans Public Defenders as well as Town Hall events, which led to the team's support of related efforts including support for re-entry programs and career development opportunities for minorities practicing law. Louisiana was one of only two states where someone could be convicted of a felony without a unanimous jury verdict and with another op-ed by Davis, he helped to bring awareness to the issue and the law was ultimately changed. Demario is frequently asked to participate as a panelist to share his perspective and insight on various topics at many community events. Other past engagements include (but are not limited to): gifted a handicapped accessible van for the family of a teenager who was injured after a shooting; partnered with the United Way to visit and help raise money for those affected by the Flint, Michigan water crisis; donations/visits to the Rooted School in New Orleans; Man of God school visit with donated headbands and a pizza party for students; distributed Christmas gifts to underprivileged children; participated in the Saints Hall of Fame Golf Tournament and the Willie Colon Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) Golf Outing, benefiting the ALR Jean Davis Research Grant; provided funding toward Retinoblastoma research in honor of his daughter, Carly-Faith who was diagnosed with the condition.

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

Demario remains humble and continues to motivate and uplift others. He is a devout Christian, dedicated husband, father, son, and teammate. Beyond just talking about a problem or an issue, he takes the time to truly analyze a situation to understand the issues that may exist, empathize with others by seeking to understand their perspective, and then develops a coherent plan to take action using the resources around him to make an impactful change.  He displays consistent efforts to be great and helps others to achieve greatness, too. Also, Demario often provides enlightenment to his teammates about societal issues. He was recently awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Society by United Way of Southeast Louisiana which is a distinguished annual honor that celebrates one outstanding philanthropist who leads by example to create a stronger, more equitable Southeast Louisiana. Demario is an exact embodiment of the ideal honoree for the award with his extensive career of service to the betterment of our community with no desire for personal recognition, and lasting commitment to eradicate poverty. When preparing to face an opponent or motivating his teammates on the field, as a team captain, Demario leads the charge. He lifts the spirits of others on and off the field. The New Orleans Saints are proud to select Demario Davis as their 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.