Mr. Grey Cup: Davis' perfect run continues
Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive end Ja’Gared Davis has been in the Canadian Football League for four years and not once has his season ended before late November.
Davis joined the CFL in 2016 with the Calgary Stampeders, and as a rookie helped the Stamps advance to the 104th Grey Cup, posting 32 tackles and seven sacks in the regular season. The Stamps lost to the Ottawa Redblacks that year.
Davis was limited to 10 games in 2017 due to injury, but was healthy in time to suit up for the 105th Grey Cup, another loss for the Stampeders, this time to the Toronto Argonauts.
And last year he finally earned a championship ring, helping the Stampeders beat the Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup, posting 59 tackles, seven sacks, and two interceptions in the regular season.
In his first three Grey Cup appearances, Davis recorded three tackles and a sack.
The 29-year-old left Calgary last off-season, departing the only team he’d played for in the CFL to sign a free agent contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Nine months after signing in Hamilton, the Ticats are preparing for the 107th Grey Cup – Davis’ fourth in a row – while the Stampeders are at home, having been eliminated in the Western Semi-Final.
Davis is coming into this year’s Grey Cup off perhaps the best year of his CFL career as well. In 17 regular season games Davis had 54 tackles and a career-high 13 sacks, earning an East Division All-Star nod at defensive end. He added another six tackles and a sack in the Ticats’ 36-16 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in the Eastern Final.
Davis faces stiff competition to be named a league All-Star this season in West Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player nominee Willie Jefferson and CFL sack leader Charleston Hughes, the two players that blocked his path to All-Star honours the past two years he was with the Stamps. But he is a leader on the league’s top ranked defence in points allowed (17.9 per game), and third in sacks (54).
The Ticats’ lineup isn’t short on Grey Cup experience – TSN’s Matthew Scianitti highlights the team’s core of Brandon Banks, Simoni Lawrence, Delvin Breaux, and Luke Tasker that experienced back-to-back Grey Cup losses in 2013 and 2014 – but in Davis Hamilton has a player that wasn’t around for the heartbreak in Hamilton five years ago, but has similar big game experience. And only knows ending his season with the Grey Cup in the building.