Carla Weaver recollected a time when her son, Curtis, told her that he was going to franchise a Wingstop. His inspiration came from one of his middle school football coaches who owned one himself. But the reason Weaver wanted to own a Wingstop wasn’t for personal gain, rather, to help college students, unemployed and homeless people get jobs. All of this, coming from a child no older than 14, made Carla realize how special her son was.
Growing up Curtis Weaver
When Weaver was young, his mother, who is a single parent, was experiencing health and financial issues that left her with no choice but to work two jobs and move her family around frequently. Weaver was too young to remember why they moved so often, but he does remember that his mother was doing everything in her power to give him a normal childhood.
“I’ve been through a lot, and (Curtis) sees it,” Carla said. “He’s fragile. When he was growing up, there would be nights I would get two hours of sleep because I was making sure everything was set, so I could take him to amusements parks and stuff like that. And because he was an only child, I was always inviting all his friends to our house.”
Carla raised Weaver to understand the importance of a good education, family time, the power of prayer and to always stay humble.
It was always just Carla and Weaver at home, but Carla’s entire family lived in California. At least once a week, Weaver was able to spend time with his “big” family to play games and hangout. Weaver does have two half-brothers that he did not grow up with, but has gotten to know them over time.
“I have one (half-brother) who lives in Oregon; he’s a Nike trainer for track. He’s older than me. He’s like about 25 or 24,” Weaver said. “I have another older brother. He’s like two years older than me, he lives in LA. When I did finally meet them, they were great inspirations; they showed (me) motivation and working hard, and just showing like a general pursuit towards life.”
Religion was a big part of Weaver’s life growing up. Carla taught Weaver that if he has a problem, he needs to pray on it at night and by morning, his problems will be solved. This type of attitude still resonates with Curtis, as he is constantly staying positive and having fun.
“Sunday is always our date,” Carla said. “We go to visit his grandma, my mom, we put flowers on the grave then we go to church; (afterwards), we go to our favorite restaurant.”
Weaver went to private school in search of a good education and played multiple sports to ensure he “stayed away from the streets and didn’t get involved with the wrong type of people,” according to Carla.
Little did Carla know, putting her son in all these sports would help him find his passion.
Then came football
Football was one of the many sports Carla enrolled Weaver in during his childhood. He played flag football and, later, Pop Warner football. When middle school came around, Weaver found love for both basketball and football, but other parents underestimated just how good he could be.
“He was playing football, not a lot of people believed in him. Parents were like ‘Your son needs this,’ ‘Your son needs that,’” Carla said. “The thing about Curtis, he’ll say, ‘Mom, I think I’m better than him?’ But I always tell him, if you think you’re better, you gotta prove it.”
Carla has been Weaver’s biggest advocate, supporter and role model since the day he was born. But she made Weaver make one of the biggest decisions of his life before he entered high school: football or basketball?
Weaver picked football and never looked back.
Weaver still was looked over when he started playing in high school. His coach placed him as a second string, without really giving Weaver a chance to prove himself.
“He was very upset he (was) a second string. I told him, ‘You know what son, when you step into the field, always play with your heart and have fun,’” Carla said. “Because if you go back, and all you think about this is (winning), this is not gonna work.”
“The following day he told me, ‘Just watch, mom, they put me in the first string.’”
Recruitment letters and calls began to flood the Weaver household, and Weaver knew he had a big decision to make.
“I chose (Boise State) because the atmosphere is crazy. You live where you live for the college towns, like of course, there’s a lot of college towns out there, but these people I feel like really love you,” Weaver said. “And then coming from Cali, you have the trouble. Everyone knows California is trouble in the LA (and) Long Beach area. Coming out here, you know, if you get in trouble, you’re gonna get in trouble; you caused it. I feel like it’s just a safe environment out here where I can go to school and play football, and that’s all I got to think about.”
Weaver came to Boise State in 2016 as a defensive tackle. He was redshirted “due to immaturity issues.” Weaver once again showed resilience. Over his time redshirting, and up until the 2017 season, he lost a lot of weight and was put at the STUD position.
Since then, Weaver has turned himself into, arguably, one of the most exciting defensive athletes to watch at Boise State in recent years.
Weaver is tied for fourth all-time on the Boise State sack list with 22.5, was named Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and has earned countless national recognitions.
“I see Curtis, and he’s still goofy; he’s a brother,” said longtime friend KJ Jackson. “I’ve seen him become really good (at) football, and just become a household name. (It’s) like mind blowing, but we kind of talked about this in high school. This is, like, all of his hard work paying off.”
Staying humble and hungry
Weaver has turned himself into a national phenomenon and a future NFL prospect. But his attitude towards everyone he knows has not changed.
“He’s got posters of him in all sorts of places, and I can’t tell you the amount of 99 jerseys I see at games, but he just goes about his business,” said co-defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson. “Where someone else would, beat their chest and (say) look what I made for myself, (Curtis) just wants to keep growing, man.”
From the moment Weaver started playing sports he had an “on-to-the-next” attitude. No matter what he achieves or how big he gets, Weaver knows there’s always room for improvement.
“When I talked to him, he’ll always bring up the best edge rushers in the country. He’s the guy who’s always looking for the next,” Danielson said. “I was the first team all mountain west player, I gotta win the defensive player of the year and then it’s this and this. That’s why I really believe that humble hungry mentality. He’ll keep pressing.”
It doesn’t take long to realize that Weaver’s personality is unlike anyone else’s. He’s loud, goofy and rarely comes across with a serious demeanor.
“When we’re back at home, you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff he does. He chases me around the house, he’s a really big child,” said redshirt junior cornerback Jalen Walker.
Weaver came to Boise and was redshirted for immaturity, but has certainly proved his opposition wrong. Since then, he’s grown into a starter and has become one of the most impactful players on the Broncos’ roster, if not the nation’s radar.
“He’s just so fun to be around, and so fun-loving and light hearted,” Danielson said. “I’ve also never met a guy that can flip the switch like him. He could be the guy that’s playing Candy Crush on his phone an hour before game and then when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. He’ll flip the switch and he’ll be so dialed in on this assignment. And he’ll have this attack mindset. It’s not calm.”