UM Football Blog: 8/22

A lot is happening in Coral Gables as the Canes continue preparing for the start of the 2012 season. Here are some news and notes from today.

Vernon Davis is leaving the University of Miami. Blue and Gold News, the West Virginia site on the Scout network, spoke to Davis last night and was told by the freshman cornerback that he plans to enroll there later this week.

It didn't take long for Davis to realize that the University of Miami wasn't for him. Most kids wait through their freshman season, at least, before making the decision to leave. In this case, the transfer happened after three weeks of fall camp.

Davis was lightly recruited coming out of high school. Vanderbilt and Cincinnati were his only other BCS offers aside from the Canes and Mountaineers. Miami evaluated him last spring, invited him to one of their summer camps, and offered him after his performance at one of them last June. Davis took the scholarship offer immediately and never looked back, saying that he'll be fulfilling a dream by becoming a Hurricane.

At a hair under 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Davis lacked ideal size for a major college cornerback prospect. And he didn't exactly make up for it with his speed (4.6) and athleticism. Those attributes made him a competitive player at the high school level but they limited his upside as a recruiting prospect, which is probably why only a few BCS schools gave him a scholarship offer coming out of high school.

Even though he was recruited here to play cornerback, the things Davis did best on the field at Coral Reef High in Miami were catch passes at receiver and return kicks on special teams. He was a productive receiver, one of the more productive pass-catchers in the Miami area over his final two seasons. And his skills as a return specialist were probably a big part of the reason why the Canes gave him a scholarship. And after three weeks of fall camp, two other true freshmen -- Duke Johnson and Malcolm Lewis -- were listed as the top return specialists behind Phillip Dorsett.

Davis was part of a crowded recruiting class at the cornerback position. The Hurricanes signed six of them. One (Ladarius Gunter) was a Junior College transfer so he already had an edge in experience over the others. Another (Larry Hope) went through spring football and may have gotten a leg up on Davis and the others. Throughout fall camp, two others (Tracy Howard and Antonio Crawford) have been listed on the depth chart at the position. That left only Davis and Nate Dortch -- the second most lightly recruited player among the freshman cornerbacks.

While West Virginia will likely add Davis to its roster this fall, the Hurricanes will lost its second player from the 2012 class. Linebacker Josh Witt recently quit football due to health issues related to concussions.

The Canes will play with five freshman cornerbacks now and they've already added a commitment from four-star prospect Artie Burns from nearby Northwestern High. The future definitely seems very bright at the position for the Canes and perhaps Davis viewed potential playing time as an issue that he wasn't ready to deal with.

Lets wish him the best at West Virginia and move on from it.


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