COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The biggest position change this spring has to be senior-to-be safety Sean Davis moving to corner, where he debuted last fall in an emergency when starting corner Jeremiah Johnson went down to injury.
But Davis has loved it ever since, and he’s not looking back.
Davis, who was second on the team in tackles last season with 108, and had a tied-for-team-leading 8 pass breakups, is displaying great versatility for the next level, where he projects to the NFL next year. This winter he even put his information into the NFL Draft Advisory Board, where he said he liked what he heard but wanted another year to perfect his craft at College Park, as well as play a season with his little brother, Isaiah, an outside linebacker who inked with Maryland in February.
Said Randy Edsall on Day Four of spring camp this week:
“He’s doing a good job. He’s working at it, he’s getting there, and it’s the right spot for him,” Edsall said. “And again, it’s the more reps he gets the better he is going to be.”
Davis, along with returning starter Will Likely, have the corner spots locked down this spring, while the backline at safety features returning three-year starter Anthony Nixon and A.J. Hendy, back from a year suspension, competing with senior-to-be Zach Dancel for the other spot.
This week in drills, Edsall, who is moonlighting himself this month as secondary coach until Darrell Perkins arrives next week to handle the unit, has worked extra time in drills with Davis fine-tuning his hand placement and feet and other technical points as he makes the conversion. Davis can both cover, as well support the run, with his size and strength combination.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder has been more than an eager student.
“With the corner move, I feel it’s more to my strength, a bigger corner be able to blitz more, play a hard corner, be there for the run game. But big, fast, be able to run with the wide-outs,” Davis said.
This spring the entire defense is learning a new playbook in the new 4-3 scheme, while the secondary is expected to be more in man coverage going forward. Davis said it is a daily learning curve.
“I just feel like being by myself, not having any over-top help especially you know in the boundary. I think I am adjusting well, learning new techniques, and I think I am playing hard and trying to bring intensity to the game and let other people feel that,” Davis said.
Davis said he likes more man coverage, as well as more blitzing from his new spot. He likes the challenge of being out there on his own. This month in camp observers have seen the wide range so far from Davis, be it pass breakups, picks, tackles for a loss in the backfield of running backs. But he's also yielded a few intermediate and deep balls into the back corner of the end zone for scores, as he still gets his bearings at his new home.
It’s all part of the process for the rising senior as he reinvents himself a bit for his final go-round as a Terp.
“When I played corner later in the season last year, it definitely gave me confidence I can hang with the best,” Davis said.
While Davis, too, got burned a few times last year deep, he said he is fine-tuning his press coverage up on the line, which his physicality allows well for.
“Definitely press,” Davis said. “I am pretty big, and I am long, so I want to be able to get up in receivers’ faces, you know, beat them up a little bit.”
He admitted he’s a little rusty with his corner technique, but he likes playing “hands on” and has good closing speed to catch up.
Davis is up to 205 pounds, gaining a few since last season, while he will also play on special teams again as well. Then there is little brother, Isaiah Davis, though with the scheme change he won’t be able to help coach him as much as he is so learning new things himself.
“I want him to be able to learn this real quick, learn what the MIKE and WILL does, and just get him ready, have them teach him up,” Davis said.
Davis said Edsall, having coached in the NFL before, has sat down with him and watched film of his former NFL guys for more technique work, “and I am learning from one of the best.”
And of that inquiry to the League, Davis said it was a positive experience.
“Oh, it was fine, and I heard what I wanted to hear,” Davis said. “It was just good stuff, and I just wanted to, you know, have options. But I wanted to come back and get my degree, have the opportunity to play corner, play with my brother. So it all worked out.”
Sean Davis Running With Position Change
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