Tony Davis is looking forward to a healthy 2008. Early last season, his first at safety, he suffered a "burner" that limited his time as the Big Ten season opened. Then, the day before the meeting with home-state Ohio State, Davis suffered appendicitis and had his appendix removed on the eve of the game. A starter in the initial eight games of 2007, he also missed the Purdue game, but returned to play in the final three contests. A starter at cornerback in 2006, Davis played safety last year, but returned to corner this past spring, where he likely will battle Lydell Sargeant and A.J. Wallace for the starting assignments. The talented, athletic and instinctive Davis should again play a large role in the success of the secondary this season. A former all-state selection from Howland HS, he is another in the long line of outstanding prep student-athletes from Northeast Ohio that have matriculated to Penn State to play for Joe Paterno. Davis, who is on schedule to graduate in December, is one of six returning players from Ohio.
2007 Senior Season
Early in the season, Davis suffered a "burner" that limited his time as the Big Ten season opened. Then, the day before the meeting with home-state Ohio State, Davis suffered appendicitis and had his appendix removed on the eve of the game. A starter in the initial eight games at safety, he also missed the Purdue game, but returned to play in the final three contests. Davis recorded 29 stops (19 solo), forced two fumbles, grabbed an interception and broke up a pair of passes. He recorded five tackles and forced a fumble in the victory over Buffalo. Davis grabbed an interception in the third quarter of the Illinois game to set up a scoring drive. He tied his career-high with seven hits in the 38-7 victory over No. 19 Wisconsin and forced a fumble in the shutout at Temple. He was on the field for 537 snaps, led by 77 at Indiana and 71 against Notre Dame.
2006 Junior Season
A starter in every game at cornerback, Davis led the team and was second in the Big Ten with 13 pass breakups. He was seventh on the squad with 42 tackles (29 solo), including a half-sack. However, his season will most be remembered for his electrifying fumble recovery and return of 88 yards for the eventual game-winning touchdown in the 20-10 Outback Bowl victory over Tennessee. The fumble return, his second for a score during the season, marked the first defensive touchdown for Penn State in a bowl game since Derek Fox returned an interception for a TD against Texas A&M in the 1999 Alamo Bowl. In addition to his game-changing fumble return against the Vols, Davis made a career-best seven tackles (five solo). Davis was instrumental in helping the Penn State defense finish the season ranked in the top 15 nationally in rushing (87.5 ypg, seventh), scoring (14.4 ppg, ninth), total defense (284.5 ypg, 15th) and pass efficiency defense (105.9 rating, 14th) and sacks (40, sixth tie). Davis posted then season-highs with five tackles each against Akron and Minnesota, with four solo stops against the Gophers. At Ohio State, he helped limit the No. 1 Buckeyes to just 115 yards passing, nearly 115 yards below their season average. With the Lions holding a 10-9 lead in the third quarter against Illinois, Davis picked up a fumble, forced by Paul Posluszny, and returned it six yards for his first collegiate touchdown to continue the Lions' momentum in the 26-12 win. His fumble return was the defense's first touchdown of the season and he added four solo hits. Davis and the secondary held Purdue's Big Ten-leading passing attack 125 yards shy of its season average of 309.6 ypg that was then No. 4 in the nation. Penn State became the first team to shut out the Boilermakers during Coach Joe Tiller's tenure. In the Lions' second shutout of the year, against Temple, Davis had two stops and broke up one pass. He helped the secondary limit Temple to just 58 yards through the air, the lowest total by an opponent since Notre Dame's 47 yards in 1989. Against Michigan State, Davis broke up a season-high three passes and made one solo tackle. He was on the field for 789 snaps, topped by 90 against Akron and 86 against Illinois.
2005 Sophomore Season
Davis saw action in nine games, playing as the top reserve to All-America cornerback Alan Zemaitis. He recorded four solo tackles and had an interception in the win over Minnesota. Davis made a pair of tackles at Illinois and also recorded solo tackles against Cincinnati and Central Michigan. He was on the field for 99 snaps, logging his most extensive playing time at Illinois.
Redshirt season. Davis made two solo tackles in the 2005 Blue-White game.
Davis capped off an outstanding career at Howland HS with first-team all-state accolades. He was the Ohio Division III Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Year for Coach Richard Angle and a two-time All-Metro Athletic Conference pick. A two-way starter as a senior, Davis had four interceptions, giving him eight in his career. He rushed for 1,768 yards with 22 touchdowns and gained 2,053 all-purpose yards.
Full name is Antonio West Davis. He is enrolled in the recreation, park and tourism management program. Born September 9, 1986.