“You can help me. Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together we survive.” – Maximus in the movie Gladiator
A defender. A fighter. A warrior. An OU defensive end.
That is David King.
He takes after the nickname he bestowed upon himself freshman year as a joke on Facebook.
David “Maximus” King.
The nickname came from King's favorite movie, The Gladiator. He can't even remember the first time he saw it — maybe because he still watches it two to three times a month.
Yes, he can probably recite it word for word. But anyone who has ever seen King understands the nickname, especially his roommate of five years and fellow defensive end R.J. Washington.
“If you ever see David you're not really mad (that he gave himself his own nickname),” Washington said, “because David always looks like he just worked out. It doesn't matter what time of year or what time of the morning.”
How do you label a 6-3, 285-pound defensive end who is super cut and really muscular? Most of his teammates struggled to find a word to describe King's appearance.
Defensive tackle Casey Walker just kept repeating “Maximus” when he began to talk about King and how built and strong he is.
“I've never seen anybody that's 285 without a stomach and with a six pack,” Walker said. “I don't know where he's from.
“Tarzan. That's what it is. That guy can eat and I'm like ‘Where does it go?' I don't know where it goes. He can eat. He can eat.”
King's strong, too. He's been asked if Maximus is his real name, and he teases people and plays along.
Washington remembers when former offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson found out about the nickname.
“Coach Wilson used to make fun of it,” Washington said. “He said, ‘You know what? Don't ever call yourself Maximus again.' “
But really, Washington said Maximus is just King's alter ego.
Maximus, the quiet warrior who defends his goal, is known as one of the funniest players on the team and the 285-pound defensive end who likes to dance.
“He's so big so he looks like (actor) Terry Crews,” Washington said. “His voice is so deep and commanding. He is David Maximus King.”