Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Davis, Herbstreit speak behind the scenes of GameDay


The Quad at the University of Alabama looks completely different the day before and the day of an Alabama football game.

ESPN College GameDay’s host Rece Davis took a walk through the Quad and simply reminisced on his time as a student here. Davis said he hadn’t been to Tuscaloosa for a game day since 1991.

“We try to be professional and unbiased but for a guy to not be at his school since 1991 and to be here, that’s a special thing,” colleague Kirk Herbstreit said.

Herbsteit is an analyst on the College GameDay show and as a former Ohio State graduate, he can relate to how Davis feels being back on Alabama’s campus. He compares the two of them to any other college football fan.

“Even though we’re in suit and ties and we look like idiots since it’s 100 degrees out, we’re not different than you guys,” Herbstreit said. “We have just as much passion for this game and we try to be professional when we’re on the air but deep down, our school means everything – as much as your school means to you.”

As Davis walked across the Quad, however, it wasn’t a sense of déjà vu that came over him though, especially with being here for his job.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love it here,” Davis said. “It has a special place in my heart but I think that when you do a show like this, I get into a locked in mode and part of it is I like to feel the energy wherever we are.”

Just because he graduated here doesn’t mean the energy is any different from other campuses the show goes to. He said he felt great energy at Michigan State the weekend before.

“I’m not trying to say it’s the same – there’s always some personal feelings here – but I think when it gets close to show time, you want to make sure you do the show,” Davis said. “That is first. You need to make sure you take care of the people at home and I hope we did that [Saturday].”

Davis is grateful for all that Alabama gave him and it is still important to him. He said Alabama gave him a foundation to pursue his career goals and served him well educationally. He grew up loving it and still does.

“I’ve learned as a professional to take a step back in terms of being a fan, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less,” Davis said.

Davis was like any other Alabama student – who frequented City Café, Dreamland, and Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ – with dreams and goals he wanted to achieve. With where he is today at ESPN, it was questioned if he ever pictured himself making it this far.

“The humble answer is no, but the real answer is yes,” Davis said.

He always knew that he wanted to do something with college football in a high profile nature. Davis believed in himself and worked hard to get where he is today. He said if you don’t believe something can happen, it is guaranteed that it won’t.

Herbstreit said Davis has done a great job taking over as host and that it seems like he’s been doing it for more than just three shows.

Davis just completed his third show of College GameDay and loves the experience. His favorite part of each show is seeing how excited Lee Corso gets when making his final, headgear pick.

“We may have, hopefully, 20 great things in a show but nothing tops that moment when coach [Corso] puts on that headgear, at least to me,” Davis said.

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