Felix Curry has been working Georgia football camps for more than a decade.
And he's been a Bulldog fan even longer.
That's how it is in Flowery Branch, a small Georgia town about 45 minutes from Athens. Residents bleed Bulldog red, their week hinging on the end result come SEC Saturday.
It's even more personal for Felix, an assistant football coach at Flowery Branch High School. He's helped out the university at its annual camps since the late 90s, developing friendly relationships with many of the coaches and players.
“My boys came through these camps when they were little,” Felix said. “They've been around Georgia forever.”
But those three boys — C.J., Darius and Justin — aren't so little anymore.
And no longer considered Georgia campers, the talented trio developed into legitimate Georgia prospects.
The oldest, C.J., burst onto the recruiting scene as a talented wideout, receiving his first offer, from Georgia, in 2010. And in this family, you know what that means.
“When the recruiting process began, I kind of felt it was unfair that he grew up in a house that dad loved Georgia, dad worked Georgia camps, Georgia caps and Mark Richt T-shirts all around the house,” Felix said. “It was almost like if they offered, and I never said it, but if Georgia offered, it was almost an unwritten rule that you know you're going to go to Georgia.”
So C.J. committed almost immediately, pledging to the school he was born to play for, the first of an expected three set to play for their father's favorite team.
But then Oklahoma State, and co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, entered the fray and messed everything up.
“When Glenn Spencer started recruiting him, he just really fell in love with the type of person Coach Spencer was,” Felix said. “And he really started to seriously consider Oklahoma State.”
C.J. wanted to take an official visit to Stillwater. And his parents, hoping to squash any doubts about his pledge to Georgia, gladly made arrangements.
“My wife and I were like, ‘All right, we'll drive up there and when he sees how long it takes to get up there, he's not even gonna think about Oklahoma State again,'” Felix said. “That was kinda our mentality going up there.”
So the family packed the car and drove 14 hours across country, far away from the Georgia home all three boys had lived in since birth.
And in Stillwater, instead of a getaway weekend to reassure C.J. of his secure choice, the family found a new home for its boys.
“Everyone talks about how nice the facilities are, and they are nice, but I always tell people that at the end of the day, it's the people,” Felix said. “You have to feel comfortable with the people. And everything about Coach Gundy and Coach Monken, just everything about the place, me and my wife were really put at ease.”
C.J. returned to Flowery Branch still a Georgia commit, but he would soon change allegiances to OSU. The last-minute pleas of adoring Georgia fans couldn't change anything.
Now considered one of the Cowboys' brightest freshman wideouts, C.J. was the first Curry brother Oklahoma State snatched from deep in Bulldog country. But he wasn't the last.
Darius, the family's middle son, is a talented 6-foot-1, 190-pound cornerback sculpted out of the Justin Gilbert mold. He committed to OSU two months ago and is set to arrive next year.
Justin, the youngest brother, is a sophomore in high school, just 15-years-old, but already receiving attention. The starting tailback for a 5A school, he ran for more than 300 yards combined the past two weeks against top competition.
“He really likes Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle,” Darius said of Justin. “So if Oklahoma State was to offer, I'm pretty sure he would take that into huge consideration.”
Three Georgia boys, born and raised to play in Athens on Saturdays, altering the plan and winding up in Stillwater.
It's an unexpected and talented coup for the Cowboys, complete with a new fan.
“To be honest with you about the whole deal, I had to get over the fact that (C.J.) didn't want to go to the University of Georgia,” Felix said. “And I never did say it or show it on my face or in my voice, but I really had to get over that fact. But I'm good with it now … I'll always love Georgia, but I got to go with Oklahoma State as long as my boys are there.”