Former college football player Titus Davis dies from cancer at 27

The record-holding former Central Michigan University wide receiver died of a rare, kidney cancer

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Former NFL player and college football star Titus Davis has died of cancer.

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The Detroit Free Press reports that Davis died Wednesday of Renal Medullary Carcinoma, a rare form of kidney cancer. The 27-year-old played college football for the Central Michigan University Chippewas from 2011-2014, setting many athletic records. The team shared the news on their Instagram page, sending condolences to Davis’ family and friends.

Earlier this. year, a GoFundMe set up by family friend Samantha Hall revealed the diagnosis of Renal Medullary Carcinoma, a rare kidney cancer that mainly impacts young men of African descent who carry the sickle cell trait. 

“We are asking for all of the support we can get for Titus during this difficult time. He is the father of two beautiful boys and is so loved by so many. This diagnosis has been very difficult to wrap our heads around but Titus is a fighter and we are confident that God will carry him through this battle, bringing him out stronger than before! If you cannot donate, please help by sharing this page.”

The fundraiser garnered $48,970 for his treatment and he started his first round of chemotherapy in July.

Hall confirmed Davis’ death to the Detroit Free Press.

“Early this morning, he passed away peacefully surrounded by family,” she said.

His younger brother, Corey Davis, is a wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans. Sports Illustrated reports he was at practice with the team Wednesday but did not confirm whether or not he would be playing in this weekend’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

Davis was the first player in FBS history with eight or more receiving touchdowns in four seasons. He currently holds multiple records at CMU according to the report, including career yards (3,700), career touchdowns (37), single-season touchdowns (13), and single-game touchdowns (four). He is also ranked third in single-game receiving yards for his 208-yard exhibition against Western Michigan in 2012 and is ranked fourth in program history with 204 career catches.

His former CMU teammate, current Miami Dolphins safety Kavon Frazier tweeted “RIP Titus Davis. Still to this day one of the most talented players I’ve played with.” 

After his college football career, Davis signed as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers but was released in 2015. He played on the practice team for both the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. In 2016, the Jets signed him to a reserve contract but he decided to retire later that year. Davis ended his retirement in May 2017 by signing to the Chicago Bears but was waived four months later.

According to the Free Press, Sherrone Moore, the Michigan Wolverines’ tight end coach and former CMU football staffer, spoke about Davis at a press conference.

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“I send out a lot of prayers to his family, friends, and that whole CMU community. That’s a big loss for someone that wasn’t only a great player on the field but an outstanding human being, an outstanding citizen. That was extremely sad news to hear. I’m going to continue to pray for his family.”

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