ABOUT // AD47
A Boy. A Town. A Dream.
[As told by: Akeem Davis, NFL Player & AD47 Founder]
My name is Akeem Davis. I am entering my fourth season as a defensive back in the National Football League. In 2014, I was featured on the hit show Undrafted on the NFL Network. I was a scholarship athlete at the University of Memphis. But no matter what titles I'm given or how people have introduced me over the years, I'm still just Akeem from a small town, called Laurel.
As a kid, I knew that each morning when I opened my eyes, no matter what challenges that day presented, I'd still have three things to hold onto: my faith, my family, and my dream.
But you know what, life has a funny way of challenging each of those principles. It will test your faith. It will take your family. It will destroy your dreams.
...or at least it will try.
I realize that much of my success up to this point, as a player--and more importantly, as a person--is due to the strong foundation that I had around me...from a young child, to a young man, to married man with a child of my own.
My roots gave me strength, and as I look at my daughter Carsyn, I want to make sure she has the same love and support from her community, just as I did growing up. That's something that I want for every child, not just my own.
When I look back over all of the obstacles and adversity that was placed in my path, I realize two important lessons:
First, behind adversity, lies opportunity. The difference is determined by our attitude and outlook.
Second, nobody ever fell to the top of the mountain and no man who reached the peak, ever did so by himself. Success requires hard work, a solid plan, and a strong team around you.
I want to instill some of these principles in Laurel-area youth, and I want to talk about keys to success--both on and off the football field. You can only do so much to become a better player, but you can do a lot to become a better person.
With this in mind, I set out to form the AD47 Football Leadership Academy. AD for Akeem Davis. 47 for my first NFL regular season number, which was worn during my rookie season, in 2014 with the Washington Redskins. But 47 also has another meaning: you must practice the 4 key pillars of AD47, all 7 days of the week if you want to seize your potential as a person. The four pillars that serve as the foundation of my vision are: character, leadership, discipline, and follow-through.
I am proud to say that on June 20, 2015, my dream became a reality, as we launched the Inaugural AD47 Football Leadership Academy, in my hometown of Laurel. AD47 is sanctioned and insured by the NFL Foundation, in conjunction with USA Football's FUNdamentals program.
In 2016, we expanded our scope and size from the original 53 kids we had in 2015, to a full 100 students! Last year, despite Tropical Storm Cindy, we had all 100 kids show up and give it their all. The 2018 edition will take place on June 23rd and will be the best yet!
AD47 is a free, one-day, non-contact, football skills camp, focusing on leadership, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. We teach good football technique and emphasize the importance of good character.
I am proud to bring this back to Laurel, and I am inspired by the difference we are working to make in these kid's lives.
You can't always pay it back, but you can pay it forward.
[See FAQ section for details about the AD47.]