Marlon Davis grew up in Columbus, Ga., right across the state line and not far from Auburn. He has friends and family and former high school coaches who are fans of Georgia. But growing up Davis was an Alabama fan.
This week Alabama hosts Georgia in Bryant-Denny Stadium in a Southeastern Conference game. As last week, the game will be on prime time national television with a 6:45 p.m. CDT kickoff and ESPN broadcasting.
Does Davis expect to hear from his friends who are fans of the Bulldogs? "I don't want to hear from them before the game or after the game," he said.
Davis, a 6-4, 290-pound junior, is likely the least known of Alabama's starting offensive line. He plays with superstars Antoine Caldwell at center and Andre Smith at left tackle, Justin Britt of a famous Bama football family at left guard, and right tackle Mike Johnson who won a starting job and is the line newcomer.
Davis was a back-up as a freshman (and had one start in 2005), then earned the starting job late last season.
Davis enjoyed last week's 41-38 win over Arkansas, and particularly enjoyed the way the Tide won it with a two-minute, 73-yard drive.
"This is a great place to win and that was a great way to win," he said. "There's a great atmosphere at Alabama. Our fans are so committed to us. Winning pumps everyone up, and right now everyone is excited about our future under Coach Saban."
Davis was aware of how loud Bryant-Denny Stadium was as Bama made its winning drive. But, he waid, "We were calm. We practice it every day. You have a lot of adrenaline, but you have to keep calm. Throughout the drive my thought was not to let my man get back there (to quarterback John Parker Wilson). I just wanted to make sure I did my job.
"It was a great feeling to pull it off. Very exciting."
And after the game? "I'm not really one to go out, but I'm sure the strip was full of fans having a big time," he said.
Davis said, "We have a lot of confidence in John Parker. That win gave us a confidence boost, especially for John Parker and for the offense. We know that we can get it done if we have to do it again."
Davis expects a physical game against Georgia. "I think Georgia will be more physical than Arkansas up front," he said. "It's Alabama vs. Georgia, a big rivalry game, a big SEC game. Old school.
"It will be loud."