Oklahoma football: Barry Switzer talks Steve Davis
I wrote about the passing of Steve Davis for the Tuesday Oklahoman. You can read that column here. I didn’t dwell on any particular stories – other than those Davis shared with me – but I thought I would share some with you today.
I talked to Barry Switzer yesterday. He and Davis broke in together in a lot of ways. In 1973, Switzer became head coach, Davis became his quarterback, and it seemed like they were together forever. Not until September 1976, when Dean Blevins started against Vanderbilt, was the Switzer/Davis duo broken.
Over the last few decades, Switzer never seemed particularly close with Davis. For one thing, Switzer was as tight with his scrubs as he was with his stars. And for another, Davis hadn’t come around the OU program much over the decades. Not until the last few years had Davis reconnected.
But Switzer, as always, had plenty of recollections about the Camelot days when he was young, Davis was a thick-haired preacher/quarterback and it seemed like the Sooners never would lose.
* This is the third Switzer player to die in the last two weeks. Guards Jaime Melendez and Ken Jones died recently.
“They say they come in threes,” Switzer said, sounding like he is growing tired of seeing his players buried. It’s not supposed to happen that way.
* Davis died Sunday in a private-plane crash in South Bend, Ind. “I think about all the damn times I get on airplanes, with pilots I don’t know,” Switzer said. A week or so ago, Switzer, Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops flew on a charter flight to Nebraska for a Tom Osborne celebration.
* Davis wasn’t highly-recruited out of Sallisaw. He always said he got the final OU scholarship, and Switzer said that’s right but pointed out it wasn’t the last of 25, it was the last of about 50 scholarships.
“Different time,” Switzer said. “Steve wasn’t highly recruited. I remember when we took him, I think just (assistant coach) Leon Cross said, ‘I believe in this kid.’
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