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USC Football Legend Sported First Nikes Ever

USC football legend Anthony Davis was the first major athlete ever to rock Nikes back in the '70s.

USC football legend Anthony Davis was the first major athlete ever to rock Nikes back in the '70s.

Monday, April 19, 2010 17:35 GMT

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – The first major athlete to sport a pair of Nikes wasn’t Michael Jordan, it was a college football star.

In the early 1970s, USC runningback Anthony Davis was THE biggest thing in college football.

The icon was approached by Nike’s Nelson Farris to wear their shoes, becoming the first Nike athlete on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

But getting Davis in the kicks sure wasn’t easy.

Davis says he was relentlessly pursued by the then-amateur apparel company for two years but turned them down every time because his coach wouldn’t allow the shoes on the field.

When his coach finally caved in, Davis requested that the Nikes be black, so Farris hand-painted the shoes with a marker.

Davis believes the kicks were good luck because once he slipped them on, he could “cut like a knife.”

He played the two best games of his life in them, including the legendary 1974 comeback against USC rival Notre Dame.

Davis’ epic story is in his new book, If My Nikes Could Talk (Leonard Wayne Enterprises).

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