Ernie was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia during preparations for the 1962 College All Star Game. The immidiate treatment he received was not enough to save his life. Ernie Davis died at the age of 24 on Saturday, May 18, 1963. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to play in the National Football League (NFL). Judging from his college footage, it's not difficult to believe that he would have been one of the greats in the NFL.
Sources: Jensen, Stephen. "Cleveland controversy." Davis never played a down for the Browns, but his impact shook the historic NFL team. (2005): n.pag. Star-Gazette. Web. 14 Dec 2012.
Gallagher, Robert C. . "Ernie Davis." (2012): n.pag. Biography. Web. 14 Dec 2012.