Former Joplin Eagle Isaiah Davis drafted 173rd overall by New York Jets

Apr. 29—Joplin's Jackrabbit is now a New York Jet.

Former standout at Joplin High School and then FCS star with Division I South Dakota State University, Isaiah Davis, was selected by the Jets with the 173rd overall pick and the 38th pick of the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday.

Davis has spoken this week about hoping to open doors for more athletes from the Joplin area to believe in themselves and in the opportunity to play in the NFL one day, just as he once dreamed as a youngster.

Davis joins Jeff Tupper and Mike Reppond as the only other athletes from a Joplin high school to be drafted into the NFL.

Fan support from Joplin and Brookings, South Dakota, has been important to Davis during his journey to the league. He said he is thankful for those people.

"Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this journey and not given up on me," Davis said.

He was able to rush for more than 4,500 yards, 50 total touchdowns and 98.9 yards per game in his career as a Jackrabbit at South Dakota State.

He and the Jackrabbits won back-to-back FCS national championships in his last two seasons.

The standout running back started as an Eagle and ran for nearly 4,000 yards in his junior and senior seasons combined. He totaled 4,353 for his entire prep career. He scored 76 rushing touchdowns as well.

Davis was a part of the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. He said he was "relieved" after his 4.57 time on the 40-yard dash. That was the big result, and he was happy with what he got.

Joplin head football coach Curtis Jasper said last week: "I'm ecstatic for Isaiah. First of all, obviously a great player, but just such a great person. Whenever you talk about, 'This is what it takes,' you could put a picture of him up and point at it. When you talk about work ethic and being coachable, being a great mentor, being a great teammate and checking all the boxes, he is the guy. There is no doubt about that."