Collected wisdom: Steve Davis, former Oklahoma quarterback

Steve Davis started at Oklahoma from 1973-75, Barry Switzer's first three seasons as head coach. His second career start — a 7-7 tie at USC — and a stunning 23-3 home loss to Kansas two years later were the only blemishes on Davis' 32-1-1 career record.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 29, 2012
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photo - COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 1976 ORANGE BOWL -- SOONER QB STEVE DAVIS, CENTER, AND AN OU FAN START CELEBRATING AS TIME RUNS OUT WHILE A SMILING TEAMMATE, DEAN BLEVINS, LOOKS ON
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 1976 ORANGE BOWL -- SOONER QB STEVE DAVIS, CENTER, AND AN OU FAN START CELEBRATING AS TIME RUNS OUT WHILE A SMILING TEAMMATE, DEAN BLEVINS, LOOKS ON

Steve Davis led Oklahoma to the 1974 and 1975 national championships as its quarterback.

Davis started at Oklahoma from 1973-75, which also happened to be Barry Switzer's first three seasons as head coach.

His second career start — a 7-7 tie at USC — and a stunning 23-3 home loss to Kansas two years later were the only blemishes on Davis' incredible 32-1-1 career record.

After his playing career ended, he spent 18 years as a college football broadcaster.

[Related: Read the outtakes from the Collected Wisdom of Steve Davis.]

I grew up in Sallisaw, but my seventh-grade year, my family moved to Broken Arrow. We arrived late in the summer ... football was sixth- or seventh-hour in the curriculum, and when I enrolled, football was full.

I was stuck in a music class with 24 girls. I was the only guy in that class. I would be in this music class, and the windows would be open because it was August, and you could hear the guys outside playing football, and I'm in this music class.

We only stayed in Broken Arrow for one year and moved back to Sallisaw, but I'll never forget how I really wanted to be in that environment.

It was early on in my career that I dreamed about playing at the University of Oklahoma. I was about an eighth-grader or ninth-grader, and OU was recruiting a guy that was two or three grades older than me named Bill Orendorff. He ended up going to OU.

When they recruited, they'd give you these wonderful big, full-color brochures. Bill gave me one of the brochures, and on the back of this brochure was a picture of the Sooner offensive huddle. It was a shot into the huddle, and there was Bobby Warmack, who was my idol. He had that eye-black, and the double chin strap and the towel out of the front of his pants.

I took that picture, and I took a big, black magic marker and wrote “WHEN?” I hid it under my top dresser drawer in my bedroom, under my underwear. It stayed there forever. I never shared it with anyone; nobody knew about it.

Sometime later, my mother found that picture. Just before the Baylor game my sophomore year — my first start — my mom wrote on it, “TONIGHT.”

One of the first times I went to OU for a game was the 1967 Kansas game. Bobby Warmack hit Steve Zabel for a touchdown deep in the fourth quarter. I was sitting in the north end zone, and literally sat down and tears came to my face because I thought, ‘I'm gonna be here someday.'


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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