Dec 7, 2010, 3:09 PM EST
Looking for a kid to cheer for? Look no further than Oregon wide receiver D.J. Davis, who earned a lot of respect over the weekend from football fans across the country for a quiet tribute he paid to Notre Dame videographer Declan Sullivan.
The Oregonian explains:
Many people who receive the doorstep edition of The Oregonian (as opposed to the one you’re reading now) glanced at Sunday’s Sports section cover and scratched their heads.
A photo of D.J. Davis ran nearly the entire length of the page, rendering the snapshot tucked into a protective covering at Davis’ waist clearly visible. It was of a smiling young man.
Speculation about the photo centered on other players. Was Davis, a Denver native, gaining inspiration from a youthful John Elway? Was the photo of Nate Costa, the Ducks quarterback snakebitten by multiple knee injuries?
Turns out the photo was of Declan Sullivan, the 20-year-old Notre Dame student who died Oct. 27 after high winds blew down the hydraulic scissor lift from which he was filming the Fighting Irish’s practice.
When contacted Monday an Oregon spokesman said Davis has no connection to Sullivan or Notre Dame.
The spokesman explained: “He has a brother the same age and said he couldn’t imagine having something like that happen to him.”
So Davis wore the photo as a tribute.
It’s hard not to be incredibly impressed by Davis’ silent tribute to Sullivan, whose death sent shock waves through the college football world. I won’t go as far as telling Irish fans to go cheer for the Ducks when they take on Cam Newton and Auburn in the BCS Championship game, but that’s a pretty outstanding move by the senior wide receiver in Eugene.