Beginning his collegiate football career as a walk-on, Ishmael Davis, junior defensive-end, shows that it is not about how you start, but how you finish.
Growing up, Davis moved all over the world because his parents were in the United States military. Early in his life, Davis lived in Germany.
“I loved Germany,” Davis said. “It was… a different experience than here.”
From Germany, Davis and his family moved to North Carolina. Davis credits his coaches in North Carolina for his success as a defensive player.
“North Carolina was fun,” Davis said. “I learned a lot when I moved there as a football player. They taught me how to be a defense and play against a defense.”
The summer before Davis’ junior year, he moved to Killeen, Texas where he joined the Ellison football team.
“Ellison was an experience,” Davis said. “The coaches really didn’t like me. I think it was because I was the new kid on the block.”
Davis graduated from Ellison High School in 2013 with football offers from all around.
Despite having multiple out of state offers, the junior chose to attend Texas State because of the short distance from home. Davis did not want to go out of state.
“It was close to home,” Davis said. “At the time, I had multiple offers to play out of state but I wanted to stay here.”
He also chose to stay in state because he did not want to go to a smaller school out of state when there was a Division I school so close.
“I felt it was a better idea to go to Texas State than go to the smaller school out of state,” Davis said.
Although Davis redshirted his first season as a Bobcat, his sophomore year was a different story. The preseason before his sophomore season was when the Texas State football organization offered him a scholarship.
“It was amazing,” Davis said. “It not only took a lot of stress off my parents, but made them so proud of me.”
The business management major played in 12 games on special teams, and a linebacker with one start. He had a career-best of 10 tackles and nine solo stops all in one game.
Now that junior year has come, Davis has set some expectations for the team as a whole. Davis focuses more on being a unit rather than everybody playing for themselves.
“I expect us to play as a team and grow as a family,” Davis said. “I expect great things from us.”
Davis wants to get better at his position. He is focusing on becoming a better player for the Bobcat defense, including bulking up.
“I want to get better as a player,” Davis said. “I want to learn the defense more so I can play faster.”
Although he began as a walk-on, Davis has showed that hasn’t stopped his progress.
“It doesn’t go as far as proving something, but I do have a job to do, just like everybody else,” Davis said. “I will just let my work speak for myself.”