It's hard to imagine someone that is 6-3, 277 pounds being considered underweight, but such is the case with Arkansas starting nose guard Curt Davis. Throughout his career he has been told that he is too small to play the position in the SEC. Well, for someone who apparently shouldn't be able to succeed in SEC, Curt has done pretty well for himself. He has lettered four years, started three, including being named a team captain this year while amassing 48 tackles and 2 sacks. What Curt may lack in bulk he makes up for with courage, intelligence, quickness and intensity. He has flawless technique and an incredible understanding of the game. Curt never takes a play off and has been one of the more vocal leaders on this team. Sadly, the Cotton Bowl will be Curt's last game with the Razorbacks, so I took the opportunity to get some parting thoughts from Curt before he rides off into the sunset.
Nathan Striegler: Curt, the sun is finally going down on your Razorback career. Has it hit you that you are about to play your last game?
Curt Davis: I think so. The reality has really set in. I can't ask for a better time or situation than what I've been in since I've been up here. The people of Arkansas are unbelievable. My experience here has been outstanding and way more than I ever would have expected. I'm sad that this is the last game but I can't wait to sit in the stands and support and cheer on the hogs for the rest of my life. I'm a lifetime hog and I plan on spending the rest of my life in this state.
NS: What is the biggest challenge that you have dealt with over your career?
CD: Just the adversity of playing my position at my size. I feel like I'm always climbing over a rock. I try to go above and beyond and be an overachiever. It always seems like I get put down every year. People say the middle of the defensive line is our weak spot because we're undersized. I say that it won't take a toll on me but it does after a while. After the first year I started 11 games and people started saying it. The next year the same thing and people kept saying it. It's just like "when are yall gonna shut up?" That's the biggest thing. I like challenges like that. I'm proud of myself for being able to play in the SEC at my size.
NS: Ok. Look into the future. You're old and gray sitting down with the grandkids. What's the first story that you're going to tell them?
CD: The first story that I'll probably tell them is the Tennessee game. Me and Clint Stoerner and Anthony Lucas and those guys were great friends. We had taken a heartbreaker the year before at Tennessee. It still makes me sick to this day. But then to come back and have a guy like Clint Stoerner, a fighter who I have tremendous respect for, fall down in tears after the game. That is probably the most meaningful thing that has happened to me since I've been here. It just seems like a storybook ending, for us to come back and get revenge and for him to finish his career like that. Our team at that time was great too. It wasn't just him.
NS: I was one of the idiots with my shirt off and my chest painted, and I was hanging from the goal post.
CD: Oh yeah.
NS: What is the best thing about being a hog?
CD: I'm from an area with flatlands and cotton fields, so when I first came up here the beauty of this place amazed me. But I've seen five different teams now and they all have something in common, especially this team. The chemistry and the camaraderie that this team has are great. That chemistry term gets used a lot but I can't see any more appropriate example than in this team. There's no selfishness. There's no "me-me-me." There is a lot of character and it shows after starting 1-3 and finishing the way we have with a Cotton Bowl birth. There are no racial problems. I know some guys that play on other teams and their white guys hang out with white guys and black guys hang out with black guys. That just really blows my mind. It shows the character of the coaches here and shows that they recruit good people.
NS: Boxers or briefs?
CD: I'm a boxer-brief man.
NS: Me too. Good call.
NS: When you get up in the morning what is the first thing on your mind?
CD: The first thing on my mind is what to wear. Long sleeve or short sleeve. What is the temperature? The first week back from Christmas everybody always wears their new clothes. I always used to save mine and wear my old stuff for a few weeks. Nobody notices your new polo if you wear it the first week. But if you bring it out a few weeks later everybody is like "dang man, look at that shirt." So that's my thing about dressing.
NS: Where do you go from here?
CD: I'm gonna give it a shot and work hard for three and a half months to get ready for these camps. If I don't get invited to a camp then there are always scouts coming through here to test players. I just want a chance. When my grandkids are sitting on my lap 40 years from now I want to be able to tell them that at least I tried. My goal is just to make it to a camp and to just give it my best shot. I'm not going to do anything half-ass. If I'm going to do this I'm going to get myself in the best shape. I know the odds are against me just like they have been my whole life. But who says I can't? Anything can happen and if it doesn't I'm not going to get discouraged. I'm just going to live the rest of my life knowing I tried.
NS: Talk about your relationship with your girlfriend Kerri. What has it meant to you?
CD: She shows the real meaning of character in a person. The way she has gone through this past year has shown that football is not everything and neither is school. It's about relationships and caring about each other. She does things that just wow me. I can't say enough. It's the little things like notes on my windshield. She always puts me first. She's very unselfish and she is the most caring person that I've ever been around in my life.
NS: If you could pass on one thing to the next generation of Razorbacks what would it be?
CD: This team is really close. Don't be selfish in anything you do. Don't come in here saying, "I was an All-American in high school and I should be that here." If you do that you've got the wrong attitude because everybody is an All-American. Everybody is all state and all this and all that. If you work hard and are a team player, good things will happen to you. I came in here with a very humble attitude because I came from a football background. My dad played and both of my brothers played college football. They knew what it takes and they led me on the right path. I see a lot of these kids saying, "If I don't play the first year, then I'm gonna transfer, and I'm gonna do this and it's all about me." You can sit out two years and play three and have an incredible career. Be a team player and do what they ask you to do. Be patient and good things will happen to you in the end if you just keep working.
NS: What is the Davis family household like Christmas morning?
CD: We still don't want Santa Claus to leave. We're 23 and 25 years old and we still want our little stashes. It's really fun. We're a real close-knit family. We enjoy each other a lot. It always helps out to have three people to do something with. We always had each other and we always had something to do. My parents expect a lot out of us. My dad on the athletic end and my mother on the academic end. They have a good balance and a good marriage and I've learned a lot from them.
NS: It's funny you should mention Santa Claus, because he actually called me last night and he wanted me to find out if you've been naughty or nice.
CD: I've been a little bit naughty and nice. I always could be nicer to Kerri, my family, and the people who love me. But, overall I do some good deeds and if an old lady was stuck on the side of the road I believe I'd be the first one to pull over and help her. I don't think I deserve switches but I don't think I deserve a new car either.