Ernie Davis first came to national prominence as a star football player at Syracuse University. He led his team to the NCAA championship in 1961, and became the first African-American to be awarded the Heisman trophy, before playing professional football. In 1962, Davis was the first pick in the NFL draft, and he was the first African-American football player to be chosen first.
In 1961 Ernie Davis became the first African-Anerican to win the Heisman. He was drafted by the Redskins who then traded him to the Browns. But before the season began he was diagnosed with leukemia and died without ever playing a down in the NFL. http://ift.tt/2ce78nc Submitted September 10 2016 at 12:14AM by Romobyl via reddit http://ift.tt/2ce7D0J
As fast as Ernie Davis became a national icon, he was gone. Davis led the Syracuse Orangemen to their only national football championship in 1959 (an undefeated season) and became the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1961. But soon after being chosen with the first pick of the '62 draft by the Redskins and then being traded to the Browns, Davis was diagnosed with leukemia. He died at the young age of 23, his legacy firmly intact.