"Some days I wake up and I'm like, is this really happening?" Davis said. "Sometimes it's just mind-boggling. Just got to keep going."
Some fans seem to be thinking that Arkansas' chances for winning the SEC and maybe even a national championship went out the door with the firing of Petrino, but that's not how the Razorbacks see it.
Davis, Tyler Wilson, Tenarius Wright and Alfred Davis all made that clear when meeting with the media after Friday's scrimmage.
Wilson echoed that same sentiment about a team that finished 11-2 least season and fifth in the nation with the only losses being to national championship game combatants Alabama and LSU.
"We got beat by to the top two teams that played for the championship," Wilson said. "We were knocking on the door. We've got to continue to knock on the door in order to be considered nationally year and year out. I think we're ready to do that. It's going to take some leadership and guidance within this team to make it happen, and I think we've got the ability to do that. Definitely all our goals are still intact."
That leadership started at the meeting when Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long told them he was firing Petrino, who was involved in an affair with a 25-year staffer named Jessica Dorrell, got her a $55,000 job inside the athletic department and then lied to the AD about his affair.
Wilson and Wright both addressed their team after Long spoke, but said the rumor that players were walking out of the room when Long was announcing the firing was not true.
"I just stood up and told everybody to sit back down and delivered a message that we have to stay here and stick together and be one family with the coaches that we do have right now with (interim head coach) Taver Johnson being the director at head coach right now," Wright said.
Wilson stated the obvious.
"Obviously it's been tough on everybody," Wilson said. "It's a unique situation. It's tough for everybody but I think it's unique that our team has been very coherent through all of it. When Jeff came in and spoke to us the other night a couple of guys, including myself stepped up and spoke for a minute after he left. I think that was big for our team. We are moving forward and I think we are going to do a good job of it."
Wilson said that he and Wright knew the team needed to hear some words.
"I think a lot of guys were concerned, frustrated and just not sure where we were going," Wilson said. "Tenarius Wright stepped up and said a few things. Me as well. Just to calm them down. Reassure them that we're going to be OK. We've got great leadership on this team. It's a mature football team. With that, we'll move forward with success."
Knile Davis said that having to hear stuff daily about the head coach is getting old so he is staying away from social media newspapers and TV these days.
"It was getting kind of annoying," Davis said.. "Every day you see Petrino on the front of the newspaper. I try to stay off twitter, facebook. I even had to turn my phone off because I was getting a lot of calls about it. It was just a long week."
Wright said that he had taken the same approach.
"I try to keep my eyes out of the newspaper and stay off the websites and just focus on watching film, focus on my team and my guys and sticking together with the coaches that we do have," Wright said.
Wright said the team is working through the emotions.
"I really can't speak for the whole team," Wright said. "Some people are heartbroken and you can see it in their eyes and are confused about how exactly they are suppose to feel. We know what we have in our hands and we know that we have the power to move forward or mope over something we have no power or control over.
"We are trying to take exactly what we have – which is a great team – and have a great attitude and go out and work hard," Wright said.
Senior defensive tackle Alfred Davis basically said the players just have to deal with it and move on.
"He (Long) came in, he told the guys the decision he had made, and really and truly we don't have any choice but to just deal with it," Davis said. " I mean, it is what it is. We have to go along with Jeff Long. It was his decision to make, he made it, we have to accept it and get back to playing ball."
Alfred Davis was asked how much of his team supported the decision.
"I think it's more of a, you don't have a choice anyway, so nobody says, he should have done it, or he shouldn't have done it," Davis said. "It's more like, ‘OK, this is the situation. Coach (Petrino) was fired, right now we're focused on getting to our main goal, and that goal is to win a national championship."
He knows most people and players didn't think Petrino was going to get fired at first.
"I mean, everybody has their own opinion, of course," Davis said. "The average Arkansas fan will say, ‘Oh, we're probably going to keep him because what happened has nothing to do with football, and he's here to coach football.' But Jeff Long had to look at it from a different perspective. That's (Petrino's) boss, and it was Jeff Long's decision to make. So he made the decision he thought was best, and as players we have to go along with it. We can't control it."
None of the players said that had any idea Petrino was having an inappropriate relationship with Dorrell, who now is on paid administrative leave from the University of Arkansas.
"I didn't," Wilson said. "I absolutely didn't. You know, what we did here was so much on the field. My relationship with him was 100 percent on the field. That's all I knew."
Wilson said he had no plans to talk with Petrino.
"I'm not sure what I'd have to say," Wilson said. "That was a personal issue. A lot of stuff here in football between the staff and the coaches, It's strictly on the football field. That's the way it's always been. That's why I've been the way I've been in my personal life. I don't have really anything to say."
Knile Davis - who spent the Friday scrimmage talking with North Little Rock star and Alabama commit Altee Tenpenny - said that he had talked to Petrino after his motorcyle wreck, but before the allegations came out 5 days later.
"I talked to him," Davis said. "I texted him. I was like ‘coach I'm praying for you. I'm taking care of the team. You don't have to worry about anything' (That was) before the decision was made. He was like, ‘I appreciate it Knile. you're the best.' That's what he told me. Then they made the decision. I haven't talked to him since he made the decision. I haven't talked to him since they made a decision."
Davis said he was supportive of Long's firing of Petrino after all the salacious details that came out.
"I think he made the right decision," Davis said. "I really do."
All four players said that would like to see an assistant coach promoted to interim head coach.
Knile Davis would like for it to be running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Horton.
"I'm for Tim Horton," Davis said. "I wouldn't mind seeing him. He has a history at Arkansas. He played here. He knows all of Arkansas. He knows all the players have been here awhile. I think that will be a good fit."
Wright said anyone of the current staff would be good.
"I really have no preference," Wright said. "We all have the same goal, the same mindset of getting better and stay hungry and just try to have a mindset of going out to win.
"Whether it is Coach Horton, who is an alumni and from right here in Arkansas or Coach Haynes or Coach Johnson," Wright added.
What about offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, the brother of the former head coach?
"I really don't have any control over that," Wright said. "I would be happy to see one of those guys take the spot. It has to go through the administration and I will let those guys do their job."
Wilson said he no second thoughts of not going to the NFL and has no plans to enter the supplemental draft.
He wants a current Razorback coach for a very simple reason.
"I'm going to respect the administration's decision, but it would be tough (to bring is somebody new)," Wilson said. "I'm not going to lie. It would be tough to bring a new coach in. Just because it's new on everybody. It's a quick turnaround learning the system and all that, but, like I said, I will respect the administration's decision."