In 1998, American-made Harley Davidson motorcycles revolutionized a key part of its design with the introduction of twin cam engines. The technology has become the standard for its bikes, intended for optimum power and performance.
Fast-forward 16 years, and Bryant Head Coach Paul Calley is a mechanic of a different sort, tooling around in the shop and putting the finishing touches on his Hornet football team.
And like those engineers with Harley Davidson, Calley has put together his own version of the “Twin-Cam” through senior offensive tackle Cameron Davis and junior defensive tackle Cameron Murray. “Both of them do a good job of leading by example,” Calley said. “I’ve stressed to them that as talented as they are, as big as they are and as noticeable as they are, they have to take things seriously and raise the level of their games. Even if they don’t know it, people are watching to see how they’ll carry themselves.”
Cameron Davis (6’3”, 275 lbs.) returns for his senior season at left tackle and couldn’t be happier with the direction the offense is going. “We’ve finally got our offensive line where it needs to be to run the ball well,” Davis said. “I know we like to pass the ball, but we love to run the ball. With the new plays, the coaches and the setup we have, I think my senior year will be a blast because I love to run block. I enjoy chasing my opponent down, not waiting for him to come to me.”
It’s pretty easy to see why Davis has taken such a shine to his role as a run-blocking machine. His father is former Arkansas Razorback and professional offensive lineman Isaac Davis. “He’s taught me so much about the game,” Cameron Davis said. “When you’re in the game, you have to do what you can to get the advantage over the defensive player. I’ve learned a few things from my dad most high school offensive linemen don’t know.”
Like Davis, junior Cameron Murray (6’2”, 280 lbs.) is making quite the impact, but on the defensive side of the ball. “He is a more compact player than (Cameron) Davis,” said Calley. “He’s got the body built for defense. Our assistant coach tells me he’s a point guard in a lineman’s body.”
Calley says Murray played on the defensive line during his sophomore season but began growing into his own during the second half of the season. “Murray gets better every time he steps on the ball field,” he said. “Spring ball was great for him. He’s gained a real understanding for how we’re trying to play him and setting him up through blocking schemes. He’s doing a really good job of putting himself in position to make plays.”
Murray says his success is the result of hard work and discipline that improves with each practice and work out. “I’m maturing quickly, both in size and in understanding the game. I’ve become more of student of football, focusing more on how I need to execute on the field,” Murray said. “Coaches have been commenting on my speed and explosiveness. They’ve also told me how they like my work ethic.”
While the Bryant coaching staff is impressed by the talents of two Camerons, Davis and Murray, the duo’s skills are also getting the attention of Division I college programs. “I’ve never had a player in my 21 years of coaching get offered early,” Paul Calley said. “Now I’ve got two.”
The “offer” Calley was referring to was scholarships to play college football. Davis has received scholarship offers from Arkansas State University, Southern Mississippi University, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana – Monroe and Tulsa University.
“I try to stay humble, especially with all of the attention,” Cameron Davis said. “Coach Calley and my dad told me that things were going to change. My dad told me what I was going to go through like he did when schools started calling him.”
What’s equally impressive came during a recruiting trip for Davis by Arkansas State University. “[Arkansas State] was here watching Cameron Davis,” Calley said. “But after watching [Cameron] Murray in just three plays, they offered him a scholarship, too.”
For Murray, he sees the success of the Hornet defense as critical. “We’re going to fight hard and bow our backs on every play,” said Cameron Murray. “We have an attitude of never giving up at any point. We have to hit the offensive in the mouth on every play from the beginning of the game.”
As for a state title, Cameron Davis says that’s exactly the mark he wants to leave at Bryant High School.
“Every game we play, I’m playing like it’s my last, and I have one goal: taking state,” said Cameron Davis. “I’ve already been on a team with a conference championship. That’s not good enough. Our baseball team has a state title and a ring, and if we all get our heads in the right place, I think we’ll get ours, too.”