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Behind the Facemask: Drew Davis

Frank Kleha: I understand you and Robert McClain played against each other in football growing up?

Drew Davis: Yes, we think. We played for the Montbello (Colorado) Falcons (just outside of Denver).  It's weird when we talk about it because he played against me on a different team but we are still trying to figure it all out. The thing about our feeder teams is there are so many teams because the community was so big that you could have been on three different teams. For my age group, we had three teams - Falcons gray, Falcons blue and Falcons white. Rob is a year older than me and we always scrimmaged up so we most likely played against each other.  

FK: I know you are a big fan and follower of your alma mater, Oregon football. With all their famous combinations of uniforms over the years, do you have a favorite?

DD: I have one in mind and it's actually one we wear quite often. And it's the all-white or storm trooper white, as the fans call it, with white helmet with the green O and white from head to toe. When I was there we usually wore it when we would go down and play USC. Sometimes we wore it with silver cleats.

FK: If you could mix-and-match any uniform combination from all the ones your school uses to devise your own special Oregon uny could you?  

DD: No. If you think about all those combinations your head is going to blow up (laughing). My junior year we did try to put some of those together and it came out looking crazy. Some were good and some were bad so I'm glad they just stick to the script (now).

FK: You went by DJ in college but here everyone calls you Drew. Why the change?

DD: I tore my knee up my sophomore year and was trying to come back during rehab and tried to give myself some motivation so I switched to DJ to get that whole football persona. So it was a makeover for me mentally to come back and hit rehab hard and through that whole transformation I became DJ Davis.

FK:You don't have a twitter account like a lot of your teammates and have a strong opinion against most social media, why is that?

DD: It's not so much about twitter in general. One thing I like to do is to continue to learn and I feel like technology is good, but it's gotten to a certain point where it's taken away from our human interaction and the way we do things. You have people who can't stay off of their phone for two seconds now. It's more so me wanting to have the everyday things in life such as talking to people and not having your head down all the time (on the phone). And not waking up at three in the morning to see what somebody wrote. So it's more about me and the kind of guy that I am, growing up as a physiology major and being one of those guys who thinks critically.

FK: You captured the prestigious Watkins Memorial Award as the nation's top African-American male high school scholar athlete for your outstanding character. What did it mean to you to win that award?

DD: It meant a lot to me. You kind of go through high school and your parents tell you to get good grades and do all the right things. And those are the things you are supposed to do. But to be recognized for an award for doing things you are supposed to do while not thinking anybody is watching, that let me know that there are people out there watching when you don't think they are. Basically for by me, trying to do the right thing, playing football, and trying to get to college that someone noticed me for that I was real happy. The guy who won it before me was Gerald McCoy (of the Buccaneers) who I'm still really close with. There have been a whole lot of great guys who have won it who are wonderful athletes and to see they can be good in school as well is a major plus.

FK: I heard you want to get into acting when your football career is over. Why acting?

DD: I feel just like in football you can be somebody you are not. You have guys who might be quiet and shy (off the field) but then you go out on the field and they are running around and hitting and screaming. I feel like acting is a wonderful portrayal of just being able to study something so well that you can become it and then go back to yourself. It gives you a way to get out of the real world and move into something else.

FK: How much acting experience do you have?

DD: I was going to minor in it at Oregon but since I graduated early I didn't get to finish my minor. But I took acting lessons in high school and five or six classes in college. When I'm done here maybe I will go back and get my Theatre Arts major and go to a film school.

FK: Who's your favorite actor and actress?

DD: Denzel Washington hands down. Anything he's in I have to see. My favorite actress is Paula Patton. She's a wonderful actress and a gorgeous woman.

FK: Any Hollywood crush growing up?

v Halle Berry. She's beautiful and she always plays those roles too like Catwoman where she's kind of fierce. She's not always in prissy roles. She got down and dirty in Catwoman and beat some people up and did some scary things.

FK: List your five favorite movies.  

DD: Benjamin Button, Shawshank Redemption, White Men Can't Jump, Life and Pulp Fiction.

FK: What's one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

DD:I think people would be surprised to know that I'm a neat freak. Whether its shoes on the floor, dishes out of place, or lights turned on if I'm not in the room, I just need order. I just hate when things are out of order. When my girlfriend in college would move stuff I would get mad at her. I would tell her, 'I need to know where everything is, don't move this, it's right here I know where it's at.'

FK: Any hidden talents?  

DD: I can DJ. My big brother was a DJ and I watched him do it for a couple of years. I always wanted to do it. I didn't do it in college because I needed to get the equipment and stuff. After my first year here, I saved up and got the equipment. I'm still trying to get better and I have a long way to go (before I do anything professionally like a party). My brother is teaching me but I have to feel comfortable before I do it for anybody.

FK: Other than an NFL player, what did you want to be when you were a kid?

DD: A lawyer. I thought it was just real cool to be standing up there (in court) arguing and proving a point and getting evidence. But then as I got older I figured out how long you had to go to school and how much work it is, so I veered away from that. After that I did want to be a detective, trying to save lives and give families closure. Those are the things that excited me when I was younger.

FK: What's the greatest invention ever?

DD: I will give you one that's strange…toothpicks (with a straight face).  Imagine when you don't have a toothpick and if you have something stuck in your teeth. How many times do you try to get it out with your tongue and stop and say 'I'm done', and then two seconds later you are still trying to get it out? It's a small invention, it's not very big but once you get the food out of your mouth and how much better you feel, there's no better feeling.

FK: What makes you nervous?

DD: Snakes. I don't mess with snakes. Just to see them slithering on the ground I can't do it. I can't look at them on TV, can't touch 'em.

FK: Word in the locker room is that you like to travel a lot. What are some of the places you've been?

DD: I've been to Fussa, Japan. My sister was in the Air Force and was over there for four years. I've been to Jamaica, Bahamas, Vienna, Austria, Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) and Prague. I like to see as many places as I can and get as many memories and pictures as I can.

FK: Any big future traveling plans?

DD: I want to go down under and take a trip to Australia and I also want to make it to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

FK: What is one thing you are good at that most people struggle with?

DD: Criticism. I learned that at an early age. I've always been easy-going but I've always been able to be on the outside looking in and there is one thing I would always see. I was by far not the best player to come out of my high school, but the thing I would see is that people would have great coaches or great people around them that would try to steer them in the right direction but they didn't want to hear it. I learned when a coach is talking to you or telling you something it's not necessarily that he is mad at you or anything like that.  He's just trying to help you. Just being able to take criticism and move on and get better is something I could always do.

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