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Sep 08, 2023

Davian Sullivan | Third Time’s The Charm

By: Jonathan Franchi

Note: The following appears in the Charleston Southern football gameday program.

Every player has a story. Some stories are more unique than others…different backgrounds, different paths, different obstacles. Enter Davian Sullivan, a senior wide receiver who has had quite the journey on his way onto the Tiger roster.

Sullivan, a Woodruff, S.C. native, tried out for the team as a walk-on twice before making the team on his third attempt as a junior.

“I knew I loved the game, but I didn’t know how much I loved it until it was taken away from me. Watching everyone else pursue their dreams, I was like, ‘Why not me?’ so I went out there and worked my tail off. I kept going at it, and I knew my time would come.”

After receiving the long-awaited call, Sullivan knew that all of his hard work and dedication had paid off.

“Finally! I had worked for two-plus years. I tried out twice and got told ‘no’ both times. But the third time’s the charm. I finally got the phone call. It was a relief. I could wake up every morning with something to feel motivated for and something to do.”

Growing up in the passionate football town of Woodruff, Sullivan played just about every sport throughout his youth and was a four-sport letterman in high school. However, football was always his first love.

“My first word was ‘touchdown’.”

Ironically, Sullivan was a South Carolina Gamecock fan as a kid until one gift changed his perspective.

“I was actually a South Carolina fan up until about eight years old, because my dad went to South Carolina. But then one day, my mom got me a Clemson shirt, and I didn’t pay any mind to it. I wore the shirt around, and then one day on TV, I saw that the team that I was wearing was playing, and I said, ‘This team is actually cookin’ right now. This team’s actually pretty good.’ So, I started watching them, and from that day on, I’ve been a diehard Clemson fan.”

When asked about his favorite memory so far as a member of the Tigers, Sullivan pointed to the tradition like no other.

“The bus ride around the stadium and running down the Hill…it’s something you watch on video and you never think that it’s going to be you, but then it becomes you. It’s amazing. It’s like a fever dream.”

Outside of football, Sullivan is an architecture major, which drew him to Clemson, and he would love to pursue a career in architecture after college or possibly coach football. He loves to fish in his free time along with beating his teammates in Madden.

Now in his second season with the team and his senior year, #29 wants to be the best teammate he can be for the team from his position while also continuing to strengthen his faith and lead others to God.

When asked about his story and experiences, Sullivan pointed to some lessons that people can take away.

“One thing that I was thinking the whole time was, ‘Why not me?’ With everything in life, someone’s going to be going against you or someone’s going to tell you that you can’t do this. And you just have to say, ‘Why not?’ and trust the process.”

Sullivan’s story of perseverance and determination is undoubtedly an inspiring one as he followed his passion to achieve his dreams and is now a valued member of one of the best football programs in the country.