The search, he said, was thorough in that Texas coach Mack Brown grilled Davis on his character, attempting to make sure that he was the right fit to lead the Longhorn interior players. It was surprising, he said, in that he didn't expect the Texas opportunity to come.
"I've been in the SEC all my life," Davis said. "I never thought about venturing out of the SEC."
But Davis said he told coaches during his time at LSU that in Texas "football is the king."
"If you're looking for a job, go to Texas," Davis said.
Davis did just that earlier in his career, coaching at Galena (Tex.) North Shore under coach David Aymond from 1997-2002. During his time at North Shore, Davis coached Texas All-American and future NFL'er Cory Redding.
That job led to a position at LSU in 2002 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, a role he filled through 2005, coaching under both Nick Saban and Les Miles. He then followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins, where he spent 2006 as the team's assistant defensive line coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach.
When Saban left for Alabama in 2007, Davis again tailed along, this time taking a job as the defensive line coach. His approach showed immediately, with defensive end Wallace Gilberry leading the league in tackles for loss (27) and finishing second in sacks (10). In 2008, Alabama was bolstered by junior college transfer Terrence Cody and ranked second nationally in run defense. In 2009, Alabama used its strong defensive line to win a national championship.
Davis said the process of improving a line that in 2007 was regarded as a weak point was rewarding.
"The same players you saw that played in '09 were the same players I had in 07 with one addition, of Cody," Davis said. "That was it. So I took a group of guys that were considered bad football players and made great football players out of them."
Davis said he did that by teaching "good technique and good fundamental football." By understanding the fundamentals, Davis said linemen were allowed to play fast. Davis credited Alabama with running a "pro-style" defense with multiple fronts.
"It was a pro-style defense," Davis said. "So you never knew what you were going to get. It was like Forrest Gump. So when you played us … life was a box of chocolates."
Now, Davis will attempt to do that job at what he called "one of the top three universities (along with LSU and Alabama) in the country," and under one of the top coaches in the country.
"It was a no-brainer," Davis said.
A self-described "country boy", Davis is a renowned recruiter with ties to at least one Texas target: defensive end Jermauria Rasco. He said he hasn't been given a recruiting territory yet, though he recruited east Texas, including Houston, for Alabama.
He described his next job as "getting on the road, getting out there, getting (recruits) sealed and getting them home. None of Texas's defensive line recruits are considered to be wavering, but Davis said he will hit the ground running from a recruiting standpoint.