The Buzz

January 3, 2014

BUZZ: VP Joe Biden's Clemson defense

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Vice President Joe Biden is surrounded by Palmetto State football players.

His personal aide (aka "body man") is former University of South Carolina lineman Fran Person. (He supplied the veep with a bit of cash before Thanksgiving.)

And the guy in charge of his Secret Service detail is a hero of Clemson's 1981 national title season. Deadspin interviewed Billy Davis ahead of the Tigers' Orange Bowl game against Ohio State on Friday.

Some snippets from the sports blog's story :

People say that I had the biggest special-teams play in the biggest game in Clemson football history. When I go back to Clemson that's who I'm known as. I'm not known as Billy Davis, the Secret Service agent, or Billy Davis, the baseball player. I'm known as Billy Davis, the guy who returned the punt in the Orange Bowl. And I am totally fine with that.

I think like most kids, most little boys, red-blooded American boys, I wanted to be a professional football player or to play major-league baseball. And I think that's pretty much how I was raised. My parents were both athletes in high school. They graduated from high school in 1953 and got married right after that. And so they didn't have the opportunity to go to college, and I think that was always a dream for them: for me to get to go to school. But I just always had that drive and ambition. That's really all I ever wanted to do.

The thing that drove me most, I think, and I told my mom this years ago, I said, "All I ever wanted was for people to be proud of me." I don't care if it was my high school coaches, my neighbors down the street. I never wanted to let anybody down. You never want to disappoint your parents, especially.

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