Re'Mahn Davis shows no signs of slowing down his success. Last season, the sophomore communication studies student and celebrated running back for the Temple University's football team ranked second in the university's history among freshmen in every rushing category and became a first-team Pro Football Focus All-Freshman Team selection. His performance earned him the men's "Newcomer of the Year" award at the 2020 Stella Awards, a set of honors eligible to student-athletes named after Temple's live mascot Stella the Owl, unveiled online this year due to COVID-19. However, his aspirations go beyond playing football; with the skills he is developing at Klein College of Media and Communication, he hopes to develop a career in sports broadcasting.
Davis is a California native who grew up in an urban setting similar to North Philadelphia, which eased his transition into Temple in January of 2019. As a mid-year student-athlete, he had to quickly adjust to the whims of college life as well as its responsibilities. While balancing his academic obligations and exploring his professional interests last season, he also delivered on the football field. Among other milestones, he rushed for 936 yards with eight touchdowns, ranked seventh in the American Athletic Conference in rushing yards and ranked fifth among all freshmen in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
Gabe Infante, the football program's running backs coach, noticed Davis's determination from the start. For all of Davis's athletic talents, Infante acknowledges that his leadership and compassion for his teammates made him a standout player. Not only is Davis respected on the team, but he is "someone who the guys look for, they trust and they want to be around."
"When you have your best player become your hardest working player...that does a lot for affecting the behavior and the atmosphere, in particular in our running back group," Infante says.
Davis also made "work-life balance" a top priority. Throughout last school year, Reid Vanderlinden, one of four academic advisors for the football team at the university's Nancy and Donald Resnick Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes, watched Davis become more adept at managing his schoolwork, football schedule and extracurricular interests. Right away, Davis told Vanderlinden about his wish to work as a sports analyst. Vanderlinden was happy to encourage Davis but did not have to do much to motivate him.
"What you see on the field is a goal-setting young man always trying to raise the bar and raise the expectations for himself," says Vanderlinden. "He's been able to apply that to his academic and professional goals since he got here."
This attitude is what made Davis an obvious candidate for the "Newcomer of the Year" award, a category for which he was up against two other accomplished male student-athletes in their initial athletic campaigns.
"I got better week in and week out," says Davis. "I always tried to add something to my game whether it was in the weight room, in the field or off the field: I was just trying to get better and better, so that kind of put me over the top."
Coming off the success of the football team's impressive season, Davis has high hopes for upcoming university football seasons. However, when he feels more comfortable with his busy schedule, he wants to join OwlSports Update and create independent media that highlight a variety of sports on campus.
"I want to be able to talk about other sports and give them attention that they probably don't get," he says. "We probably don't hear much about soccer or our golf team...so I want to be able to...get them out there in the world and let people know 'OK, we have a bunch of great programs here at Temple athletics-wise that deserve to get the same attention as any other sport, whether it's basketball or football,'" he says.
In the meantime, Davis has not stopped focusing on his overall improvement. He is taking his academic, professional and athletic progress one day — and one play — at a time.