Marquez Stevenson, Tre’Davious White’s path from Shreveport to Buffalo.
The Tre’Davious White is an article about the Buffalo Bills’ Marquez Stevenson, Tre’Davious White’s path from Shreveport to Buffalo.
6:00 a.m. Eastern Time
ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques
NEW YORK — BUFFALO, N.Y. — In a recent interview, Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White’s sentiments could nearly be heard over the phone: What are the chances that Marquez Stevenson, a Bills rookie wide receiver, and myself, both from Shreveport, Louisiana, will make it to the NFL?
According to Neighborhood Scout, the chances of becoming a victim of violent or property crime were 1 in 17 for White, 26, and Stevenson, 23, both residents of the northwest Louisiana metropolis (population: 187,112). Where the folks you grew up with may or may not make it out, depending on the area; the city’s murder rate in March 2021 was up 1000 percent from the previous year.
Shreveport is no stranger to producing professional sportsmen; Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, veteran Buffalo Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson, and former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne are just a few of the noteworthy players that have come from the Red River city.
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It’s also where one area, Cooper Road, produced a group of buddies who went on to play in the National Football League. But White and Stevenson aren’t simply neighbors who grew up together. During get-togethers, they slept in the same home on many occasions. Stevenson, Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams, and Greedy’s brother, New York Giants rookie cornerback Rodarius “Lee Lee” Williams, were good friends with White’s younger brother, Da’Vonta.
It was reason for excitement on Cooper Road when Stevenson was chosen in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft, two selections after Rodarius. Stevenson, who played at the University of Houston, was reconnecting with White, not only because he made it to the NFL.
“When Johnny was picked, the whole neighborhood rejoiced,” White recalled. “They were like, ‘He’s going to the NFL, but he’s going up there with you,’” she said.
Although Stevenson no longer sleeps at White’s home, they are playing on the same team for the first time.
Stevenson was chosen by Buffalo, where his speed and playmaking abilities at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds could win him a place in the team’s crowded wide receiver room, thanks to White’s example and advice from members of their community. Stevenson is one of many wide receivers competing for two or three spots on the squad, with Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and Gabriel Davis all expected to make the team. If he is cut Tuesday, he is expected to make the Bills’ final roster and is a strong contender for the practice squad.
Marquez In Buffalo’s second preseason game against Chicago, Stevenson returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown. Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Stevenson, “He’s done some things that grab your attention.” Icon Sportswire/Robin Alam photo
He had made an excellent first impression. His teammates and coaches already refer to him as “Speedy,” and he has played up to the moniker so far in the preseason, returning a punt 74 yards for a score in his second game against the Chicago Bears. This occurred only a week after catching a 42-yard pass on fourth-and-10 against the Detroit Lions to prolong the Bills’ winning drive.
“I was blown away by what he accomplished. He made a huge play in the return game, and he did some nice things at receiving as well “Sean McDermott, the Bills’ head coach, said. “He’s done certain things that grab your attention in two games.”
It’s worth applauding Stevenson for making it this far. Stevenson’s route can serve as an example for the next Shreveport youngster with an NFL ambition, just as White’s journey to the league as the Bills’ 2017 first-round selection out of LSU motivated him.
“Little kids look up to you from where we come from,” Stevenson added. “I receive DMs on a regular basis, and they ask me things. I encourage them to keep going, to keep their heads down, and to never doubt themselves.”
Following in White’s footsteps
White intended to win any game he played, whether it was marbles, table tennis, or chess. It inspired him to graduate from Green Oaks High School as a five-star recruit and class valedictorian.
Tre’Davious White on Marquez Stevenson, a boyhood buddy and Bills teammate: “It’s strange, but every time I see Marquez at the facility now, it makes me happy. Because, given the context of our circumstances, he and I both did it.” Getty Images/Bryan M. Bennett
Coaches urged him to be more outspoken with younger players who looked up to him, but White didn’t view himself as a role model for others.
“That was never the case with me. It’s simply not how God intended me, so I thought it’d never happen “White remarked. “I didn’t understand the impact of my work ethic and my drive to be the best I can be until I came home this summer and saw how pleased everyone was.”
The success of Stevenson, who attended Northwood High School, and the Williams brothers was made possible by White’s humility. White, who is always reflective, admires what his neighbors have achieved, but it wasn’t until he visited Stevenson in Orchard Park, New York, that he realized his part in the process.
“It’s strange, but every time I see Marquez at the facility now, it makes me happy,” White said. “Because, given our circumstances, he and I both did it on purpose.” Because it wasn’t very good.
“It’s more wonderful since those folks really saw me working for it. Few individuals can claim to have done what you have and been able to encourage and inspire a whole region in such a positive manner.”
However, not everyone who contributed to Stevenson and White’s success got to see where they are now.
‘I’m not sure whether I wept or not.’
Stevenson can’t remember exactly when he met Eric Lindsey; it was one of those friendships that began when he was in sixth school. Lindsey, a two-year-older who was an outstanding football player and boxer, often kept his younger buddy out of trouble.
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Stevenson said, “I’d always been the younger person playing with the older men, and that’s really how I earned a reputation for myself.” “I understood what he was doing, but he knew not to put that kind of vibe around me whenever we were together. He’d attempt to show me a different path.”
Stevenson vividly recalls Lindsey’s death. Greedy left Stevenson at home one night but soon returned his call.
“He advised me to go check on Facebook,” Stevenson recalled, “because they’re claiming Eric’s laying out in the middle of a parking lot right now.”
Williams returned, and the two of them drove to the apartment complex where Eric was shot. They arrived at a crime scene that Stevenson clearly recalls. People shouting, yellow tape.
It was shortly before 2 a.m. on May 12, 2016. More details were etched in Stevenson’s mind. Stevenson’s high school graduation was also on that day.
“Because we were the same size, [Lindsey] had really given me his hat and gown to wear,” Stevenson said. “It was insane, especially because I was graduating with his sister and would refer to her as my sister as well.” When we went inside the building, emotions were all over the place.
“I didn’t know what to think [at the time]. I don’t believe I wept, but I recall viewing the slideshow during the burial and not feeling compelled to weep — but then a tear fell out of nowhere. It was the first time I had wept in a long time, and I didn’t even realize it was coming.”
Stevenson hadn’t had much time to think about what had occurred. Lindsey went for Houston four days after his death to begin his college football career.
He never considered taking a vacation since he assumed Lindsey would want him to keep going. He had tributes to his late buddy tattooed on his body and put Lindsey’s photo in his Houston apartment — in the mirror, so he could see her every morning.
Lindsey was a talented running back, according to White, who used the term four times to describe him.
“It’s really terrible,” White remarked, “but it’s just something that occurs.” “That’s typical where we come from. It’s really unfortunate that this is our reality…. That’s why so many people don’t get us.”
On Aug. 13, in Buffalo’s first preseason game against Detroit, Stevenson’s 42-yard grab on fourth down late in the fourth quarter resulted to a winning field goal. USA Today Sports/Raj Mehta
Because he was “like a brother,” Lindsey’s death seemed different. Stevenson regrets not being able to share his NFL experience with Lindsey, but he understands how he would feel if he were here.
“It inspired me to work harder and not whine about what I don’t have, but to be thankful for what I do,” Stevenson added. “You never know when it may be your final chance, so take advantage of every opportunity.”
“I’m sure he’d be pleased with me.”
‘Draft thievery’ is a term used to describe when someone steals a draft
When Stevenson is in town, he still pays a visit to his high school instructors and principal.
Northwood administrator Shannon Wall stated, “He’s always been the child who tries to please instructors.” “From the beginning, I’ve said ‘Yes sir.’”
Are you prepared for a world that is already impossibly tiny to become much smaller? Eric Washington, Wall’s boyhood closest buddy, is the Bills’ defensive line coach.
Wall and Washington are still close enough that on draft night in April, Wall texted his old pal, asking him to pass along a message to the Buffalo coaching staff.
Wall stated, “I was messaging Eric to tell them they just got the steal of the draft.” “They got the genuine thing,” says the narrator.
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