"Coach, I'm going to Texas. I would never have thought I'd be going to Texas."
"I'm going to Texas... I would never have thought I'd be going to Texas."
Sitting with Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong recently, Temple wide receiver Davion Curtis was so in awe of his impending reality that he had to repeat himself. So when the 5'11, 178-pounder signed with the Longhorns on Wednesday, it fulfilled a lifelong dream that took verbal form more than a decade ago.
"When I get big, I'm gonna play for the Longhorns," Curtis told his mother at age 7.
And so he will.
"I wanted to be a Longhorn for as far back as I can remember," Curtis said in November. "I always dreamed of it when I played Pop Warner. My family loves Texas, so I loved Texas growing up. Making the commitment means so much to me and my family."
That's something that the head coach of the Longhorns can appreciate.
"it's amazing," Strong said on National Signing Day. "Sometimes we don't realize the magnitude and just how important it is for some of these young men."
Increasing the magnitude of Curtis earning that opportunity is that fact that it didn't come easily. Four-star wide receiver Collin Johnson committed nearly two years ago. Another wide receiver signee, Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, was the earliest Texas commitment in the Internet era, if not longer, way back in 2013.
But Curtis had to wait for his offer. A rather listless effort last summer at a Texas camp didn't exactly impress wide receivers coach Jay Norvell, but his senior film apparently did, and when Navasota wide reciever Tren'Davian Dickson decommitted from the Longhorns on November 10 in order to sign a financial aid agreement and enroll early with the Baylor Bears, a spot opened up at wide receiver for Curtis.
Committed to Georgia at the time, Curtis got a phone call from Strong to extend an offer shortly thereafter and Curtis wasted little time in flipping his pledge from the Bulldogs to the Longhorns.
BON's own Cody Daniel is already on record as believing that Johnson, an early enrollee, will make an instant impact this fall, but Curtis is another strong bet, and not just because of his track speed.
"The good thing about that is that if you look at a lot of the schools within the state that is the type of system that a lot of them run," Strong said. "So now it is easy because now you are looking at players like [Davion] Curtis. Sterlin [Gilbert] had been at Temple so that offense is still intact for them, so he knows. He already knows what to do and all the calls, so it was easy with him now being here and the impact that he will have will make a difference."
Indeed. While Curtis didn't ever play for Gilbert at Temple, head coach Mike Spradlin ran Gilbert's version of Art Briles' offense ever since Gilbert was the offensive coordinator there before he made the leap back to the college ranks as the offensive coordinator under Briles disciple Dino Babers at Eastern Illinois.
Gilbert's hire by Strong came less than a month after Curtis flipped from the Bulldogs, creating what he called a "win-win situation."
Since the Briles veer and shoot puts an emphasis on stretching the field vertically with inside receivers against nickel backs or safeties to create mismatches, Curtis will have the opportunity to do at Texas what he did best at Temple -- run straight up the field and past opposing defensive backs for big plays, a big part of the reason he was able to average more than 22 yards per catch as a senior.
With 10.72 speed in the 100m, Curtis will immediately become one of the fastest players in the Texas wide receiver corps, an important distinction after losing Daje Johnson, who previously held that title. Aside from the impressive personal best in the 100m, running as the anchor of the 4x200m relay team that finished third in the 5A UIL State Championships in 2015 is another legitimate accomplishment that illustrates the high-level speed Curtis possesses.
Make no mistake -- Curtis burning all those unfortunate defensive backs at Temple was not a fluke.
Scoring a touchdown at Texas on one of the go routes that enabled him to break out as a junior and helped him score 11 touchdowns as a senior would be fitting. And also his first wearing burnt orange since he played for the Temple Longhorns in youth league. It will fully fulfill a dream he never really thought would come true, despite all of his accolades and accomplishments in high school.
And it will probably happen sooner rather than later.