A Sports Illustrated cover photo inÂ NovemberÂ of 1959Â focused the camera lens directly on greatness. SurgingÂ under two of thoseÂ famous orange helmets of Syracuse University wereÂ All-AmericanÂ lineman Roger Davis and All-American running back Ernie Davis.
Roger Davis, a graduate ofÂ Solon High School where he earned 10 letters in football, basketball and baseball,Â and joins the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of FameÂ to crownÂ a career that saw him winÂ championships in the NCAA and NFL.
Davis was known at Syracuse asÂ “Hound Dog” because of hisÂ love of training coonhounds, an American hunting dog. He played three years for the Orangemen, from 1957-1959. His final year was his finest as Syracuse was unbeaten, defeating Texas in the Cotton Bowl to become national champions.
Receiving All-American recognition, Davis was much sought after by the pros. In the 1960 NFL draft, he was a first round selection of the Chicago Bears, being the seventh choiceÂ of the entire draft.
Davis played like a No. 1 selection. He was a starter at right guard on the Bears team that won the 1963 NFL title by defeating the New York Giants, 14-10 in a game played on Dec. 29 at Wrigley Field in temperatures that struggled to get out of single digits.
There were two more NFL stops for Davis. He played for the L.A. Rams in 1964 and for the New York Giants that he helped defeat in 1965 and 1966.
While at Syracuse and Chicago, Davis played for two legendary coaches. Hall of Famer Ben Schwartzwalder was his coach in college and George â€œPapa Bearâ€ Halas, one of the NFLâ€™s founding fathers, was his coach in Chicago.
In 1999,Â Davis was honored with a spot on Syracuse’s All Century FootballÂ Team.Â Â Â
Since retiring from football Roger has worked for Nationwide Insurance. He is the father of four children, grandfather of seven and makes his home in Pepper Pike.