In the weeks leading up the seventh annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 20 at the Rose Bowl Stadium, we will profile 10 draft-eligible players who have committed to play in the prestigious all-star game. Today’s feature is on East Carolina wide receiver Davon Grayson.
East Carolina has been sending receivers to the NFL like clockwork, and Davon Grayson may very well be in line to follow that legacy. After both Justin Hardy and Zay Jones set the NCAA record in receptions, the standard was set for the Pirate wideouts at ECU. But Grayson has managed to make his own mark in his own way as a focal point of the offense.
Grayson exploded onto the scene in the very first game of his collegiate career. Playing against Old Dominion, Grayson caught four catches and turned them into three scores on the Pirates’ way to a 52-38 rout. His talents allowed him to see the field early, as he hauled in 43 catches over his first two seasons for over 400 yards and four touchdowns.
By the time his junior year came around, Grayson knew the offense inside and out. As a result, he snagged four catches for 84 yards against Tulsa in a 30-17 win, and then almost had his first 100-yard receiving day against UCF when he had four catches for 99 yards. As it was, ECU was more than happy to get a win to avenge its loss from a year ago, as the Pirates won handily, 44-7.
After sitting out a year for an injury, Grayson took the field with a purpose in 2017. He started off with seven catches for 86 yards against James Madison, and then exploded onto the national scene against Connecticut. A game featuring two AAC rivals turned into an absolute shootout from the get-go. Grayson scored a 17-yard touchdown on the first drive to set the tone. He then added to his total from 24 yards out to make it 14-7 in favor of ECU before reeling off a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half. All in all, he would grab 11 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns — and the Pirates needed every single yard as they escaped with a 41-38 win.
The following weeks brought continued success. Grayson tallied five catches for 101 yards against South Florida and 10 catches for 164 yards against BYU in a 33-17 win. Despite spending a year away from the game, Grayson put up almost double his previous career-high in yards in a season, and scored six total touchdowns on the year. The electric playmaker has continually improved his game at every chance, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll stop growing as keeps playing.