Cody Davis has no trouble talking about his self-professed “geeky side.”
It’s not the side you see on Saturdays, when the Texas Tech senior safety is leading the charge for the nation’s No. 7 defense.
But it is the side, he says, that has helped him forge an equally successful academic career at Tech, one that is already paying big dividends.
Davis on Wednesday was named one of 15 recipients of the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards, an honor given to athletes across the country who best represent success both through football and academics. The award comes with $18,000 in post-graduate scholarships.
The 15 recipients are also finalists for this year’s William V. Campbell Trophy, given annually to the best scholar-athlete in the country.
“It’s quite shocking,” Davis said. “I don’t know how to really react right now, but I’m blessed and thankful for the opportunity. To finally get rewarded for all the hard work in football and with school, it’s definitely difficult, but it’s paying off.”
Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in management information systems last December, graduating with a 3.7 grade-point average. He’s currently working on a masters of science degree in information systems and is sporting a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Working with computers and technology has long been a passion for Davis, who tried to keep pace as his older brother, Brent, paved the way.
“Growing up, we were just always fascinated with computers,” Davis said. “My first one was a little Hewlett-Packard. We’d always play with those, get on the Internet and do random stuff. We finally got into building them and messing around with them that way. He kind of taught me growing up with that, and I’ve carried it on through high school and college.”
Davis said he tries to stay on the cutting edge of trends in technology. He produces his own blog called “Student of the Game,” in which he lets readers in on the day-to-day life of a student-athlete.
How does he manage to balance that hobby with a heavy academic course load and a key role on a 6-1 football team?
“It’s definitely about time management,” Davis said. “I actually did a blog about a week ago that was about managing football and school. I actually collected some time data — the geeky side of me, making graphs and stuff — about where I’ve spent my time. It was actually about the same amount of time sleeping and doing football. And then you add school and homework on top of that, so it’s definitely time management and just focusing and grinding each day.
“You’ve got to come to work every day, whether it’s on or off the field, really put in the effort and hope the results pay off.”
Davis is having a great senior season on the field for Tech. He leads the team with 56 tackles and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Texas State.
The senior will join 2012 National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame inductee Gabe Rivera, the former Tech defensive lineman, at the foundation’s awards dinner Dec. 4 in New York City.
“This is a great honor for Cody and his family,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said in a statement. “Cody is a model student-athlete and a tremendous young man that has his priorities in order and big goals for his future. On the football field, he is a leader on our defense and is having a great senior season. Texas Tech will be represented very well in New York City with Cody and Gabe Rivera, and it will be a great night to honor two outstanding Red Raiders.”
Davis said he hasn’t locked down where his career path will lead him once football is over, but he’s not sweating the future.
“There are a lot of career opportunities out there,” he said. “Technology is everywhere in every business, so I think the outlook is going to be pretty good.”
For now, Davis’ time-management scale is tipping toward No. 15 Tech’s giant matchup with No. 4 Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
“We have to realize what a challenge we have ahead of us,” he said. “We can’t be beating ourselves like we kind of did (against TCU). We really have to be on point on all three sides of the ball.”
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