Retired Pro Bowl tight end has new 'passion' post-NFL career

Vernon Davis racked up over 7,500 receiving yards, made two Pro Bowls, and won a Super Bowl in his 14-year NFL career.

With a steady career like that, and plenty of television appearances even during his playing days, he very much could have gone right into an NFL front office or broadcasting after retirement.

But, while he played for the San Francisco 49ers, he was already planning his post-retirement life and preparing for Hollywood.


Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers catches a pass against the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sept. 20, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

“When I was in San Francisco, I took a class, and in that class, I felt the passion for acting. And after that, I started to pursue,” Davis told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

“When I was playing ball, I was learning on the go. But now, I’ve immersed myself in the world of entertainment, I have an acting coach that I’ve been consistent with since 2020, we’ve been working, and I’ve done over 20 movies since I retired. So, it’s been fun.”

Davis has appeared in “20-something” films, working alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Morgan Freeman, Luke Wilson and Destry Spielberg.

The 40-year-old knew, though, that he was going to be around football for a long while after retirement because of his son, who is now a sophomore in high school.

As Davis puts it, “He’s about to take off.”

Vernon Davis close up

Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers on from the sidelines during the Philadelphia Eagles game at Levi’s Stadium on Sept. 28, 2014, in Santa Clara, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


“I did football so long, now I live vicariously through my son. My son’s been getting scholarship offers… he’s only in the 10th grade,” Davis said. “Just living vicariously through him, giving him all my time and energy, it’s really enough for me when it comes to sports and the game of football.

“Sitting at all his games, working with him, just live through him all over again, it takes up a lot of my time.”

Davis admits that football and acting are equally difficult. “In life, anything that you do, anything that considers a skill – you have to put work into everything,” he says. “I think they’re equally hard, depending on your skillset, what you aspire to do, you have to put the work in. For me, I think they’re equally challenging.”

He had a well-accomplished football career, and his acting career is already very successful. But there’s no stopping here.

“I think for me, I’m just never complacent with the stuff I do. I always feel like I haven’t done anything, and I think that’s why I continue to just keep pushing forward with a lot of the things that I’m interested in,” Davis said. “I just love what I do, I try not to reflect on it too much because it’s just a part of who I am and what I desire to accomplish. At the end of the day, it’s more rewarding for me to inspire the people to aspire to just do great things in life.”

Vernon Davis in film

Vernon Davis has gone to Hollywood after an NFL career that included a Super Bowl win.


“I just want to keep creating, man,.” he added. “Just keep getting better and better with the craft, keep telling stories, and keep evolving. That’s it.”

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