CatsIllustrated - Jamin Davis picked in the first round by Washington
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Jamin Davis picked in the first round by Washington

Chalk up another development success story for the Kentucky football program.

On Thursday night redshirt junior linebacker Jamin Davis was selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, capping a meteoric rise over the past year.

Davis was picked by the Washington Football Team with the No. 19 pick.

Davis was probably not even originally slated to be a starter after the 2019 season, but Chris Oats' medical situation pushed him into the starting lineup alongside DeAndre Square.

He never looked back, leading Kentucky with 102 tackles in 2020. But that's only part of the story. Davis was a playmaker all season, picking off three passes and returning one for a touchdown, forcing a fumble and recovering one, blocking a kick and notching 1.5 sacks even though he didn't really rush the passer much.

Davis missed the Alabama game due to COVID-19 protocols.

For a coaching staff that has sold Josh Allen's college development to recruits in recent years, expect the same case to be made to prospective student-athletes with Davis as an example.

Davis was a 6'2, 190-pound three-star (5.5 RR) linebacker ranked the No. 100 player in Georgia when he signed with the Wildcats coming out of high school as a member of the Class of 2017.

He had other offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, NC State, and Purdue but was not one of the headliners of the class on paper.

Matt House was Davis' position coach and recruiter early in his Kentucky career and he came into his own working with House's inside linebacker coach successor in Jon Sumrall.