By Jim Gehman, Player Engagement Insider
Teammates at Ole Miss, wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo and cornerback Carlos Davis hope to remain teammates as members of the Baltimore Ravens.
Not selected during April’s NFL Draft, both were contacted by several teams about signing as rookie free agents, and both chose to accept the Ravens’ offers.
“I knew (Ravens wide receivers coach) Bobby Engram personally from the (East-West) Shrine Game. He was one of the (East) assistant coaches. I just felt like he’s a good guy,” said Adeboyejo, who had 106 receptions and 11 touchdowns during his four-year career at Ole Miss. “I talked it over with him at the Combine and he hit me up before the Draft and said that he was going to try to get me here. Things just didn’t work out. They didn’t draft any receivers.
“I talked to him a lot and (head coach John) Harbaugh called me. For a head coach to call kind of just showed that they really wanted me. So that was one of the deciding factors.”
Having not had any conversations with the Ravens prior to the Draft, Davis, a special teams standout, decided to sign with Baltimore primarily because of its reputation.
“I knew they were a big special teams team. That was one of the biggest reasons I decided to sign with the Ravens. I’m a big special teams guy so I would say that fits me,” said Davis, who ranked third in the SEC in kickoff return average (22.8) in 2016. “It was kind of a blessing, I guess.”
They may also consider it a blessing that they’re going through this experience together.
“Me and Quincy actually were friends. We used to hang at each other’s house. We used to do a lot of stuff together,” Davis said. “I wanted somebody I knew to be a part of the organization I chose. I thought it would benefit me and benefit both of us. We just try to keep each other positive and try to help each other out with whatever one of us needs. That helps a lot because you’re going to a different place, you don’t know anything.”
“It’s good to have a familiar face, to have somebody I’d been around the last couple years being out here with me. It just helps,” Adeboyejo said. “I was pretty much cool with everybody on the team, some closer than others, but me and Carlos were pretty cool.”
Because of the positions they play, Adeboyejo and Davis have gone head-to-head in practice at Ole Miss for years. That allows them the means to describe the other’s strengths on the field as well as their own.
“I’d have to say his (sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash) speed,” Adeboyejo said of Davis. “He’s real fast. He has a lot of makeup speed, so if he gets beat initially, if it’s a slower guy, he’ll catch up and hopefully make a play on the ball.
“(And my strongest asset is) route-running. Just being football-smart, picking up the plays and knowing techniques and things like that.”
“Quincy, he has the size [6-foot-3, 197 pounds], he has the (4.42 second 40-yard dash) speed,” Davis said. “He’s fast and quick. His quickness, that’s a whole other thing to go with speed. That’s a DB’s worst fear, a receiver that big with speed. Quincy definitely has that.
“I have speed, too. And my strength is, once I can get my hands on a receiver, I can disrupt the timing of the route. With my speed, I can catch up with (a receiver) if I’m in danger or getting beat deep. I can catch up with them quicker than most people.”
Both say they will stay busy studying their playbooks before training camp opens. Not only their position, but every position either on offense in Adeboyejo’s case, or on defense in Davis’ case. They’ll both study the special teams’ playbook, as well.
Adeboyejo and Davis will also continue to begin their journey into the NFL with the advice of former Ole Miss teammates on their mind.
“I talk to (Minnesota Vikings wide receiver) Laquon Treadwell every now and then and he tells me the things we went through as a rookie, things to expect,” Adeboyejo said. “He said especially that the coverage and the DBs were a lot better. You’ve got to be a lot more patient in your routes, be a lot more physical.”
Adds Davis. “Donte Moncrief, who plays for the (Indianapolis) Colts, and Cody Core, who plays for the (Cincinnati) Bengals, they know what to expect and what to do to stay on someone’s team. And me being a big special teams guy, they told me to go in wanting to play special teams and that you want to dominate on special teams. Basically, they said go hard every play, chase the ball and just show you want to get better.”