When Carlton Davis III played at Auburn University, he wore jersey numbers 6 and 18. As a Buccaneer in his first two seasons, Davis III wore number 33, but that is changing in 2020. Carlton Davis III will now be wearing number 24 as a tribute to his all-time favorite athlete Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant.
Davis III said this when speaking to AL.com:
“Kobe was my all-time favorite athlete ever since I was a kid. I really looked up to him and the way he carried himself as an athlete, the way he approached the game. His Mamba mentality was everything to me, something I adopted from a young age, and I’ve always kept it with me. I’m a huge Lakers fan because of him. And just hearing about his death was just heart-breaking. I didn’t know what to think. I just hate to even think about it because it’s just so surreal that he’s really gone. He passed away way too soon. Yeah, I definitely switched my number because of him. He’s always been a guy who I chased after as far as his greatness and what he’s accomplished, so I would like to continue to do that with his number on.”
Every time Davis III steps out on the field, he tries to play with the “Mamba Mentality”, and as a Buccaneer, he has proven so far to be the rock of the secondary. Last season, Carlton Davis III led the league among CBs with a 22% incompletion rate when targeted and finished second in passes defended with 19. In his two seasons in the league, Davis III has 100 career tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception.
Davis III will be the “leader” of a young Buccaneers secondary this upcoming season alongside fellow Auburn CB Jamel Dean, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, S Mike Edwards, S Jordan Whitehead, and S Antoine Winfield Jr. The youth in the Buccaneer secondary turned a corner last season when 2016 first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III was released, giving more playing time to both Murphy-Bunting and Dean alongside Davis III. If they play as they did at the end of the 2019 season, Davis III and the rest of the Buccaneers Defense will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.