Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
Prior relationships gave Curry no doubts about Arkansas
Brad Davis has spent five seasons coaching offensive line in the SEC, most recently for two years at Missouri.
When offensive lineman Ray Curry signed with Arkansas in December, he had no doubt being a Razorback was the right choice.
Curry, 6-5, 315 pounds, of Memphis (Tenn.) White Station signed with the Razorbacks over Missouri, Mississippi State and others.
“Like my mom said, we all got confirmation from God this where I need to be,” Curry said. “We all feel great about it. There’s no doubts in my mind.”
He committed to former Missouri coach Barry Odom and offensive line coach Brad Davis, but reopened his recruiting when Odom was fired at the end of the regular season.
Odom is now the Arkansas defensive coordinator and Davis is the Razorbacks' offensive line coach, and their presence on staff made Curry's decision to play for Arkansas an easy one. He said he knew he wanted to commit before his Dec. 13 official visit to Fayetteville.
“If I didn't go to Mizzou at first, it would’ve been Arkansas,” Curry said. “I just wasn’t so sure about a couple of things. But that’s where my head coach and O-line coach got hired. I always felt comfortable there. That was just another plus for the school right there.”
ESPN rates Curry a 3-star prospect, the No. 46 offensive tackle in the nation and No. 10 in recruit in Tennessee. Curry said Davis also won over his parents during the recruiting process.
“He made sure he established a relationship with them," Curry said. "If anything, my parents and him have even better relationship and bond than me and him."
Davis makes Curry want to give maximum effort.
“He just gives you that vibe that makes you want to go out and play for him and lay it out on the line,” Curry said. “Go out and play for.”
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman’s reputation as an offensive line coach also played a role in his decision.
“Amazing plus and then I saw the work he’s done the past years,” Curry said. “I think he’s put in seven guys in the first three rounds.”
The NCAA contact period is often a time when college coaches pack on a few pounds. It appears Pittman and Davis did just that after making in-home visit with Curry and his family Sunday.
Curry’s grandmother, Alice Thompson, prepared fried chicken, some macaroni and cheese, yams and cabbage.
“I know we ate good,” Curry said. “Man, they could barely get up from the table. My grandma was trying to force Coach Pittman to get some more and she was trying to force Coach Davis. Coach Davis ended up folding. He had to give in. My grandmother really enjoyed them. She enjoyed them the most.”
He plans to major in business at Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas economy impresses him.
“Fayetteville is Fortune 500 city,” Curry said. “That was a plus for sure.”
Offensive lineman Marcus Henderson, 6-4, 315 pounds, of Memphis University High School visited Arkansas with Curry, who believes the Razorbacks are in good shape with him.
“He’s coming, I’m telling him, ‘Go ahead and have fun. Have fun on your visits but you know where you are and where you’re coming'," Curry said.
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