49ers TE Vernon Davis keeping busy during lockout

Vernon Davis has been so busy as a humanitarian during the

offseason, it’s a wonder he can remember he’s an NFL star.

San Francisco’s star tight end does regularly think about the

lockout, wondering when his football routine might return to

normal. For now, he is going about his usual workout schedule and

preparing as if this were any other year.

He has a bunch of other activities on his schedule, too. He has

even tried his hand at acting.

In March, Davis and his younger brother, Dolphins cornerback

Vontae Davis, spent 10 days helping distribute hearing aids in

Uganda and Rwanda on a trip through Pros for Africa. Fellow NFL

players Adrian Peterson, Bryant McKinnie, Tommie Harris, Santonio

Holmes, Derrick Morgan and Gerald McCoy were among the others who

participated in the humanitarian mission.

”If there wasn’t a lockout, I probably would have taken it

anyway,” Vernon Davis said of the trip. ”It was amazing. It was

breathtaking because you look at these kids who can’t hear anything

and you plug these hearing aids in their ears and all of a sudden

they’re responding. You can’t do anything but be thankful to be

able to help them hear and respond. It brought a lot of emotion.

I’m already an emotional guy.”

Davis is eager to make things right with the 49ers as soon as

possible. He has a new coach in Jim Harbaugh – hired away from

nearby Stanford in January – and high expectations that the

franchise will turn things around.

When they will finally get started, he’s not sure.

”I don’t know, I can’t say,” he said. ”I can’t wait. It kind

of feels like I’m not even playing football. I can still focus on

football and do other things but my main focus is football. You’ve

always got to be prepared.”

Davis thought San Francisco would take a big step last season

and return to the playoffs.

That was certainly the hope and plan after the Niners completed

a perfect preseason and were picked as the preseason favorite to

win the NFC West. Instead, they began 0-5 for their worst start

since losing seven straight to begin a 2-14 season in 1979, in the

late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh’s first year. San Francisco

finished 6-10, leaving the 49ers without a winning season since

their last trip to the playoffs in 2002.

Davis wants to carry the load. As part of his training regimen,

he has been practicing Bikram yoga – done in a room heated to more

than 100 degrees – twice a week along with his usual plyometrics,

cardio and weight lifting. He typically takes the weekends off to

rest.

”Football is my heart and soul. I’d do anything for football,”

he said. ”I’m very serious about the sport.”

He became the highest-paid tight end in NFL history last

September when he signed a five-year contract extension that pays

him $37 million overall, with $34 million guaranteed.

The 27-year-old would like nothing more than to return to being

the dominant playmaker he was in 2009, when he tied Antonio Gates’

NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end with 13 and made his first

Pro Bowl. Last year in his fifth NFL season, Davis still had 56

receptions for 914 yards and seven TDs.

While he is ready for football – whenever that might be – Davis

hasn’t had any real breaks.

He recently tried out for some television acting gigs in New

York and also will hand out his first Vernon Davis Visual Arts

Scholarship next month to San Francisco high school student Sheryl

Quock, a promising fashion designer.

In June, Davis and his brother will host a football and

mentoring clinic at Howard University in their native Washington,

D.C.

”It means a lot to me, because I know how important it is to go

out and give back and share some of the lessons and just the gifts

that you always wanted as a kid,” Davis said. ”Growing up in a

low-income, poverty area in the inner city of Washington, D.C., I

know what it’s like. When I think of the kids, it touches me in

ways you can’t even imagine.”