|1951-1979||Guard, Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Super Bowl||IX, X, XIII, XIV|
|Hall of Honor||2022|
He was a long-shot, someone known as a 'sleeper' when he came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie back in 1967, one of the many gems Hall of Fame personnel guru Bill Nunn discovered.
But one thing you quickly found out about Sam Davis was when it came to his playing skills, he was no sleeper.
Davis came to the Steelers from Allen University, a small school in Columbia, South Carolina whose enrollment at the time was under 1,000 students. Davis spent his summers in South Carolina, one of the few players there training at the school before the start of each new season to be at his best, because he had a dream to take his game to the next level.
That dream came true when the Steelers signed him, but it became even more of a reality when he earned the starting left guard spot his third season and went on to start on four Super Bowl championship teams in the 1970s.
"He had a toughness that served him really well," said former tight end/tackle Larry Brown, also a member of the Hall of Honor. "He played with great technique and was tenacious. They would be in battle for the whole game, and Sam was usually going to win that."
When former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, he gave Davis a well-deserved shoutout.
"Sam Davis, left guard, I love ya. Thank you, Sam," said Bradshaw.
Davis, who died in 2019 at 75 years old, was also an offensive captain for much of his career, known to his teammates as a quiet man who led by example. And he wasn't afraid to share his knowledge, helping a young Craig Wolfley who eventually replaced Davis.
"Sam was just a great teammate," said Wolfley. "He showed me what it meant to be a Steeler, helping a young guy like me learn the game."