"I grew up in a single parent home with my mom and two brothers," Curry told DeaconSports. "It was stressful but sports kept us at ease. It gave us something to do. My whole family has been about athletics. Growing up, football was a way to escape the madness."
Curry was always a good athlete and received some much deserved attention in high school. Still, it was never certain that Curry would wind up at the D-I level, much less as a potential top five pick in this year's NFL draft. Most analysts didn't even consider him the best football player in his family coming out of high school.
His brother, Chris Curry, graduated in 2001 and signed with North Carolina. "In high school, I focused on being the best player I could be, but it was hard," said Curry, a member of the high school class of 2004. "My brother going to Carolina, it was a tough act to follow. A lot was expected for me to get a D-I offer. Not many people thought I could do it. It was just Wake and East Carolina [that offered."]
"People thought I was too small and too slow," Curry recalled. While watching other prospects on film, the Wake Forest coaches saw #3 for E.E. Smith High School making play after play. "Coach Lambert stopped at my high school one day," Curry said, "and showed up and was telling me he was very interested in me and wanted me to be a Demon Deacon. He told me Coach Lobo was watching film of other guys and kept seeing my number in the film making plays."
Soon after Coach Lambert's visit to Fayetteville to see Curry, the then 6'3, 210 pound linebacker made his official visit to Wake Forest. Curry fell in love with the coaching staff and University.
"Coach Grobe, Lambert, and Lobo gave me a shot and for that I'll always be thankful. I played hardball a few days after my offer but I knew that's where I was going to go." Curry committed to Wake Forest in mid-January and signed with the Demon Deacons on February 5th, 2004.
Curry and his fellow "Fresh Deacs," the class of 2004, showed up in July with a chip on their shoulder and an ego that required taming. "When we first got there we were arrogant and cocky," Curry said. "We thought we were going to play right when we got there. Coach Grobe said we were going to be redshirted. We had a problem but accepted it. When Coach Grobe left the meeting, we all stayed and we were disappointed but discussed what we were going to do to change the program."
Curry and his fellow "Fresh Deacs" did just that, helping the Demon Deacons turn from a bottom feeder in the ACC to one of the top programs in the conference over the past five years.
Stay tuned to DeaconSports for part II.