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Lavonte David
refer to caption
David in 2012
No. 54 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position:Inside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1990-01-23) January 23, 1990 (age 29)
Miami, Florida
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:233 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school:Miami Northwestern
(Miami, Florida)
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2019
Total tackles:915
Forced fumbles:18
Fumble recoveries:13
Defensive touchdowns:3
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Lavonte David (born January 23, 1990) is an American football linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Nebraska, and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

High school career

A native of Miami, Florida, David attended Northwestern High School, where he was a teammate of Marcus Forston, Anthony Gaitor, Jacory Harris, Sean Spence, Tommy Streeter, and Brandon Washington. Northwestern won back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007, and was listed as mythical national champions by USA Today in 2007. Regarded as only a two-star prospect by, David was not highly recruited.[1]

College career

David originally signed with Middle Tennessee State, but then decided to attend Fort Scott Community College. David led Fort Scott Community College to the Junior College National Championship Game, while ranking among the conference's leaders in tackles and tackles for loss. He was also a two-time first-team All-Jayhawk Conference selection and a Region VI All-American in 2009. David was the defensive most valuable player of the 2009 national championship game against Cam Newton-led Blinn. David racked up 12 tackles, including sacking Newton on the game's final defensive play, before Fort Scott lost on a punt return for a touchdown. During his first season at Fort Scott, led the Jayhawk Conference with 93 tackles.[2]

In 2010, he transferred to Nebraska, where he set the school's single-season record for tackles with 152, in his first year with the team. In a game against South Dakota State, David recorded a career-high 19 tackles, the seventh- most in school history. After the season, David was named first-team All-American by and CBS, unanimous first-team Big 12 and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, as selected by the coaches.[3][4]

As a senior, led Nebraska with 133 tackles and ranked third in the Big Ten in tackles per game. Also led Nebraska in tackles for loss (13.0), sacks (5.5), interceptions (2), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (2) in 2011. At the conclusion of the season, he was named First Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. He was also the winner of the inaugural Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, awarded to the best linebacker in the Big Ten.[5]

David started all 27 games he played in at Nebraska (2010–11), recording 285 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered. His 285 career tackles rank fourth in school history, and most by a two-year player.[2]

Professional career

David entered the 2012 NFL Draft and attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed all of the combine and positional drills. Teams spoke about possibly moving him to safety as they thought he was undersized to play linebacker in the NFL.[6] David was projected to be a second or third round pick by Sports Illustrated and NFL draft experts.[7] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, David was ranked as the third best outside linebacker in the draft by, was ranked the fourth best outside linebacker prospect by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the tenth best outside linebacker in the draft by Sports Illustrated.[8][9][10]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 58 in
(1.84 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
31 34 in
(0.81 m)
8 34 in
(0.22 m)
4.65 s 1.60 s 2.68 s 4.22 s 7.28 s 36 12 in
(0.93 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
19 reps
All values from NFL Combine[11]


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected David in the second round (58th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers traded their third (68th overall) and fourth round (126th overall) pick to the Houston Texans in order to move up to the second round and draft David. In exchange, the Buccaneers received the Texans' second and seventh round (233rd overall) picks in 2012.[12][13] He was the ninth linebacker drafted in 2012 and also became the highest drafted linebacker from Nebraska since Barrett Ruud in 2005.

On May 19, 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to a four-year, $3.47 million contract that includes $1.36 million guaranteed and a $964,896 signing bonus.[14][15]

Throughout training camp, David competed to be the starting weakside linebacker against veteran Adam Hayward.[16] He made his NFL debut in the Buccaneers' pre-season opener against at the Miami Dolphins and made two solo tackles, a pass deflection, and his first career interception in their 20–7 victory. He intercepted a pass by Dolphins' quarterback Matt Moore in the second quarter.[17] Head coach Greg Schiano named David the starting weakside linebacker to begin the regular season, alongside Quincy Black and starting middle linebacker Mason Foster.[18]

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season-opener against the Carolina Panthers and made six combined tackles in their 16–10 victory. He immediately performed well and displayed great play recognition and instincts as a rookie. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan chose to give David the responsibility of wearing the green-dot helmet transmitter, in order to communicate with coaching staff and making defensive calls.[19] In Week 4, David collected 14 combined tackles (12 solo) during a 24–22 loss to the Washington Redskins. The performance was his first career game registering double-digit tackles. On November 4, 2012, he collected a season-high 16 combined tackles (14 solo) in the Buccaneers' 42–32 win at the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. The following week, David recorded 14 combined tackles (13 solo) during a 34–24 win against the San Diego Chargers in Week 10. He earned Defensive Rookie of the Month in November and became the first member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the award after amassing a league-leading 47 combined tackles in four games.[20] On December 2, 2012, David made ten combined tackles (seven solo), a season-high two pass deflections, and made his first career regular season interception during a 31–23 loss at the Denver Broncos in Week 13. He intercepted a pass by Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning, that was originally intended for tight end Jacob Tamme, and returned it for a 27-yard gain in the third quarter.[21] In Week 14, he recorded nine combined tackles and made his first career sack on quarterback Nick Foles during the third quarter of a 23–21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.[22] David started all 16 games at weakside linebacker in 2012 and led the Buccaneers with 139 combined tackles (112 solo), while also making five pass deflections, two sacks, and an interception. His 139 tackles tied for eighth in the league along with linebackers London Fletcher and Paul Posluszny. David also finished with 20 tackles-for-loss, which was the most by a rookie since Kendrell Bell in 2001.[23]


David remained the starting weakside linebacker in 2013, alongside middle linebacker Mason Foster and Dekoda Watson.[24] He started in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season-opener at the New York Jets and made nine combined tackles, two sacks, and an interception during their 18-17 loss. During the fourth quarter, David delivered a late hit on quarterback Geno Smith as Smith ran out of bounds after a ten-yard gain to stop the clock with 15 seconds left as the Jets were losing 17–15.[25] David received a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, giving the New York Jets the necessary distance for Nick Folk to make a 48-yard game-winning field goal. David later explained after the game that he thought Smith was going to stay in bounds before he delivered the blow.[26] On September 12, 2013, David was fined $7,875 for his late hit on Smith. On November 11, 2013, David recorded seven combined tackles and earned the first safety of his career in a 22–19 win against the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. He earned the safety after he tackled running back Daniel Thomas in the endzone for a one-yard loss in the second quarter.[27] In Week 12, he collected a season-high 12 combined tackles (nine solo), a pass deflection, and an interception in the Buccaneers' 23–21 victory at the Detroit Lions. He received NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 12 performance against the Lions. On December 8, 2013, David made nine combined tackles, two pass deflections, two interceptions, and a sack during a 27–6 win against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14. He had his first multi-interception game of his career after intercepting two passes by E. J. Manuel.[28] He started all 16 games in 2013 and recorded 145 combined tackles (107 solo), ten pass deflections, a career-high seven sacks, five interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a safety.[29]

On December 30, 2013, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik after the Buccaneers did not qualify for the playoffs and finished with a 4-12 record.[30] January 3, 2014, Lavonte David was named 2013 First-Team All-Pro.[31] Pro Football Focus gave David an overall grade of 93.5 in 2013.[32]


Head coach Lovie Smith named David and Jonathan Casillas the starting outside linebackers to begin the regular season, along with middle linebacker Mason Foster.[33] Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier retained the base 4-3 defense and ran Lovie Smith's Tampa 2 scheme.

"There's not a lot of players like Derrick Brooks, it's not even fair to compare some guys in that way. But, Lavonte David, he has a chance. He's that younger version coming up. I hear he's a great guy".[34]

Lovie Smith

On October 2, 2014, David collected a season-high 14 combined tackles (ten solo) and a pass deflection during a 37–31 loss at the New Orleans Saints. The following week, he tied his season-high of 14 combined tackles (ten solo) in the Buccaneers' 48–17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. In Week 8, David collected 14 combined tackles (nine solo), for his third consecutive game, during a 19–13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. On November 16, 2014, David made 13 combined tackles (eight solo) before exiting in the fourth quarter of a 27–7 victory at the Washington Redskins due to an injury.[35] He was listed as inactive for the next two games (Week 12–13) due to his hamstring injury, which also ended his 42-game streak of consecutive starts.[36] On December 23, 2014, it was announced that David was selected as an alternate to the 2015 Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, David would not play after all of the primary selections participated.[37] He finished the 2014 season with 146 combined tackles (101 solo), a four pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and a sack in 14 games and 14 starts.[29]


On August 9, 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed David to a five-year, $50.25 million contract extension with $25.55 million guaranteed.[38][39]

Head coach Lovie Smith named David and Danny Lansanah the starting outside linebackers to begin the 2015 season, along with rookie middle linebacker Kwon Alexander.[40] On September 27, 2015, David collected a season-high 15 combined tackles (three solo) during a 19–9 loss at the Houston Texans. In Week 11, he made six solo tackles, two pass deflections, two interceptions, and scored his first career touchdown during the Buccaneers' 45–17 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. David intercepted a screen pass by quarterback Mark Sanchez, that was originally intended for running back Darren Sproles, and returned it for a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.[41] On December 23, 2015, it was announced that David was selected as an alternate for the 2016 Pro Bowl.[42] He finished the season with a career-high 147 combined tackles (85 solo), 13 pass deflections, three interceptions, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts.[29] David had the third most tackles among all players in 2015, behind only NaVorro Bowman (154) and D'Qwell Jackson (150).[43] On January 25, 2016, it was announced that David would play in the 2016 Pro Bowl and replace DeMarcus Ware, who was unable to attend due to his participation in Super Bowl 50 as part of the Denver Broncos.[44] He was ranked 53rd on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[45]


On January 6, 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head coach Lovie Smith after they finished with a 6–10 record.[46] Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was promoted to head coach. Koetter chose to replace defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier with former Atlanta Falcons' head coach Mike Smith. Head coach Dirk Koetter named David and Daryl Smith the starting outside linebackers in 2016, along with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander.[47]

On December 4, 2016, David recorded three combined tackles, a season-high two pass deflections, and returned an interception for a touchdown as the Buccaneers defeated the San Diego Chargers 28–21. David intercepted a pass by Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers, that was initially intended for wide receiver Tyrell Williams, and returned it for a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter.[48] In Week 15, he collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 26–20 loss at the Dallas Cowboys. David started all 16 games in 2016 and recorded a career-low 87 combined tackles (67 solo), five sacks, four passes defensed, four forced fumbles, one interception, and a touchdown.[29] David struggled in his first year under defensive coordinator Mike Smith's new scheme and received an overall grade of 77.6 from Pro Football Focus in 2016.[49]


Head coach Dirk Koetter officially named David and Kendell Beckwith the starting outside linebackers, along with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander.[50] In Week 2, David made nine combined tackles and recovered a fumble by quarterback Mike Glennon, which set up the Buccaneers on an eventual touchdown scoring drive in their 29–7 victory against the Chicago Bears.[51] On September 24, 2017, David made seven combined tackles before he was carted off the field in the third quarter of the Buccaneers' 34–17 win at the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3.[52] In Week 7, he collected a season-high 14 combined tackles (12 solo) in a 30–27 loss at the Buffalo Bills. David was inactive for the Buccaneers' Week 15 loss to the Atlanta Falcons due to a hamstring injury.[53] He finished the 2017 season with 101 combined tackles (76 solo), five forced fumbles, and a pass deflection in 13 games and 13 starts.[29] Pro Football Focus gave David an overall grade of 94.2, which ranked second among all qualified linebackers in 2017.[54]


In week 4 against the Los Angeles Rams, David recorded an interception off Jared Goff in the 55-40 win. This was David's first interception since the 2016 season. [55]

Personal life

While at Nebraska, David volunteered his time with the team to hospital visits and the Husker Heroes program. In December 2012, David led students through football drills and promoted the importance of health and fitness for the opening of BUCS CARE School Fitness Zones at two local Elementary schools. In the same month, the linebacker also visited youth at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and sang holiday carols to residents at Westminster Palms retirement home in December 2012.[3] In June 2012, David visited MacDill Air Force Base in Downtown Tampa to tour a hurricane aircraft, witness a military dog training session, and thank civilian workers and active duty military for their service.

NFL career statistics

Year Team G GS Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Comb Total Ast Sack SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR Yds TD
2012 TB 16 16 139 112 27 2.0 0 5 1 27 27 27 0 0 0 0 0
2013 TB 16 16 145 106 39 7.0 1 9 5 87 17.4 32 0 2 1 0 0
2014 TB 14 14 145 101 44 1.0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0
2015 TB 16 16 147 85 62 3.0 0 13 3 19 6.3 20T 1 2 2 0 0
2016 TB 16 16 87 67 20 5.0 0 3 1 15 15 15 1 4 2 53 0
2017 TB 13 13 101 76 25 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 21 1
2018 TB 14 14 120 94 26 3.5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
Total 105 105 884 641 243 21.5 1 35 10 148 14.8 32 2 18 13 74 1

Buccaneers franchise records

  • Most fumble recoveries in a career - 13


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  3. ^ a b Lavonte David. "Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
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  7. ^ "Lavonte David - 2012 Draft Tracker -". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "View Draft by Positions - 2012 Draft Tracker -". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Mike Mayock (March 16, 2012). "NFL draft positional rankings: Board shifts before event". Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Lavonte David, DS #3 OLB, Nebraska". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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  12. ^ Thorman, Joel (April 27, 2012). "Bucs-Texans Trade: Tampa Bay Moves Into Round 2". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Philipse, Sanders (April 27, 2012). "Bucs 2012 Draft Picks: Tampa Bay takes Lavonte David in the second round after trading up with the Houston Texans". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Yasinskas, Pat. "Breaking down Lavonte David's contract – NFC South Blog – ESPN". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
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  18. ^ " 10/01/2012". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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  21. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 13-2012: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  22. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 14-2012: Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  23. ^ Lavonte David's Rookie Numbers a Rare Feat
  24. ^ " Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart: 09/05/2013". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  25. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2013: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  26. ^ "Lavonte David: To me, he was in bounds | ProFootballTalk". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
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  43. ^ " 2015 Regular Season (Tackles)". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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  45. ^ NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 - No. 53 Lavonte David
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  49. ^ O'Brien, Bill. "Buccaneers LB Lavonte David wants to get back to old self". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  50. ^ "Five takeaways from the Buccaneers' first 2017 depth chart". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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  52. ^ "Lavonte David will miss time, Gerald McCoy will likely play hurt again for Bucs". September 24, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
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External links

This page was last edited on 3 October 2019, at 00:41
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