Thomas Davis did not known that he was going to be a linebacker when he arrived at Georgia. In fact, even after 2002, when was moved to linebacker from safety, it was not confirmed that he would be there for good until this spring.
Davis' move to linebacker was due in part to the depth that Georgia has developed in the secondary, partly because of his athleticism, and partly because of the lack of players at the linebacker position.
Brian VanGorder, the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Georgia, says that even though Davis' move to linebacker was delayed, he is being depended upon now to sure up the defense's most inexperienced group.
"He is such a good athlete. He is the kind of guy that is still able to make up for mistakes because of his great athleticism," said VanGorder.
VanGorder said that Davis's development is solid. But he went on to say that Davis would be even further along if the coaching staff would have decided to place him at linebacker earlier in his career rather than switching him back and forth from safety.
"We've shuffled Thomas around so much. When he came here as a freshman he worked on our scout team and did not get a lot of work at linebacker. The next year we moved him back to safety. Then about six games into the season we moved him to the backup role at the Sam linebacker, where he backed up Boss," he said.
VanGorder admits that it would have been better for Davis' growth as a player if he had never switched positions. "He's not where he would have been if we would have just kept him at linebacker," said VanGorder.
Right now Davis is the number one linebacker at the Sam. And although Davis' skill and athletic prowess is evident, VanGorder knows that it will be very difficult for him to replace Boss Bailey.
"He is still learning the game," said VanGorder of Davis.