Curry wouldn't go that far, but he did offer, "There are so many linebackers I stole something from and just put it all in one pile." Then he rattled through a list that included Lawrence Taylor (relentless attitude on the field), Ray Lewis (leadership abilities and passion) and Derrick Brooks (athletic ability).
Whatever works, and it obviously has for Curry. Just ask the other members of his Wake Forest class.
"He's a beast, man," cornerback Alphonso Smith said at the combine. "If you talk to him or see him walking around, you probably wouldn't think that. Just because of the way he carries himself, and he's really quiet and very humble and really laid back.
"I call him 'The Humble Beast.' "
In an ironic twist, Smith was the player selected by the Denver Broncos in
the second round Saturday with a pick obtained in a trade with the Seahawks.
Smith also gives Curry high praise when it comes to the mental part of playing the game.
"A lot of people don't know this, but Aaron Curry probably is the smartest football player in this draft," Smith said. "Getting a chance to play with him for 4½ years, he's really smart, he's real competitive, he works hard and his confidence is off the charts."
All things the Seahawks learned as they began peeling away the layers while dissecting Curry in their preparation for the draft.
"It was more of a grow-on-us deal," Ruskell said after the news conference. "He really had a heck of a year last season, so you had to get through a few tapes to see the progress he had made from his junior season.
"The more you saw of him, you go, 'Wow.' He had just taken his game to
another level. Then, with the feedback we were getting from the scouts and
coaches, we realized this isn't just another guy, this is a special guy."
The club has what Ruskell calls "the Seahawks filter," where prospects must meet a list of tough criteria.
"Then we'll stick the bird on your (draft board) card," Ruskell said. "There aren't many. There might be 10 a year."
This year, Curry wasn't just one of them, he was the one the Seahawks selected in the first round in what Ruskell called a "no-brainer" decision.
"He's a special kid," Ruskell said. "And then he plays special, too."
It hasn't been as easy as Curry has made it look.
"When I look back at all the hard work I've done," Curry said, "I understand why I'm standing here right now."