Stony Brook football player Connor Davis

Stony Brook football player Connor Davis Credit: Stony Brook University

The road to professional football certainly hasn’t been easy for Connor Davis.

He wouldn’t want it any other way.

“The past few years I’ve just kept my head down,” said the former Stony Brook tight end, who signed with the Jets on Aug. 15. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get an opportunity, and when it arises, I’ll do everything in my power to take advantage.”

Davis called himself “a late bloomer” in high school in Maryland and didn’t catch the eye of many big-time college programs. The only offers Davis received were from Bryant and Stony Brook, he said.

The 6-8, 260-pound Davis played 41 games for the Seawolves from 2013 to 2016. He played at tight end, defensive end and offensive tackle.

“He was very versatile, and always one of the hardest workers in our program,” Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore said earlier this week. “He’s a great learner . . . He was always determined to reach the next level, and it’s nice to see him having an opportunity.”

Davis was a Giants rookie minicamp invitee in 2018, but never offered a contract. The last two seasons, he spent time with the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and with the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL.

Davis appears now to have caught the eye of the Jets coaching staff.

"I've been impressed,”  Adam Gase said on a Zoom call after Thursday’s practice. “For the short period of time [he’s been here], and [with] things moving quick and so much to learn, when all of a sudden you kind of pop, you’re doing the right things, you’re making plays . . . That’s a huge plus in my book.”

Davis, 25, doesn’t have to look too far for his NFL inspiration. Jets wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson played 13 seasons as a pro after he entered the league as a ninth-round pick in 1991.

“I tell them, ‘Every rep that you get out there, that is your preseason game,’ ” said Jefferson, who played with San Diego, New England, Atlanta and Detroit. “I’ve got to be brutally honest with them — that they’re not going to get many opportunities — but when you get your opportunity, you got to take advantage of it.”

Davis is one of four former Stony Brook players currently in an NFL camp. Chris Cooper with Atlanta, Gavin Heslop with Seattle and Timon Parris with Washington are the others, according to the school's website.

“I played with all those guys,” Davis said. “They’re all top players, and the fact that we are representing Stony Brook University, representing the football program, and to have this opportunity means a ton. I’ve been working so hard to get to this point.”

He understands a season on an NFL team’s practice squad might be his best chance to realize his dream of playing professional football at the highest level one day. But he believes he’ll be poised and ready for his chance.

“My opportunity will eventually come,” Davis said. “I’ll keep working towards my goal and at some point — when my opportunity arises — I’ll make the most of the situation.”

Notes & quotes: The Jets have re-signed safety Anthony Cioffi, according to a tweet on Friday from his agent, Joe Linta. Cioffi, who was cut by the Jets to make room for Davis, went to camp with the Raiders in 2017 and spent two years in the CFL with Ottawa. The Rutgers product, who grew up in Springfield, New Jersey, wore No. 33 earlier in camp — the number previously worn by All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, who was traded to Seattle in late July.

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