Davenport makes a switch

Byron Davenport, a former cornerback for the UCLA Bruins, has resurfaced. Back in early December, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Davenport - formerly Byron Velega - had committed to Washington State, but still left open the possibility that he would officially visit Washington. He did this weekend, and that visit made a marked impression on Davenport's future football plans.

Davenport, after leaving UCLA, enrolled at El Camino College and did not play football this past fall. Because the junior college situation wasn't what he had hoped, there was a chance Davenport would go back to the Bruins. But after sitting down with one his advisors, he realized that he could still make a transition back to another program if he chose to do so. So Washington State and Washington came into the mix.

"They (Washington) didn't want to trip me out at first, they had offered," Davenport told Scout.com Monday afternoon. "They just wanted me to enroll when I was done with my AA, but I really wanted to see the campus and everything else before getting into something. So I got a trip."

This was after Davenport verbally committed to the Cougars. But even with the public declaration that he was going to Pullman to finish out his career, Davenport was sure he wanted to check out what the Huskies had to offer before making any final decisions. He had questions, and he got them all answered during his official visit to Seattle this past weekend.

"I got my questions answered," Davenport said. "I think the most important question was, what number am I going to get? But the biggest thing was just getting to see the city of Seattle and the University. Seattle is an unbelievable city."

For the record, he said he'll wear either 15 or 24. So does that mean he's switched his decision from Washington State to Washington? Davenport confirmed his switch from the crimson and gray to the purple and gold.

"I've been to Pullman and those are some great guys there, like coach Skipper, coach Greene and coach Doba," he said. "But I had never been to Seattle before and that was a big deciding factor. Coming from LA, it's like another big city. Pullman is Pullman."

So when did Davenport know during his visit that he was going to make the switch? "When I talked with coach (Tyrone) Willingham face to face," he said. "I was really feeling him and what he's about, what he wants from his players on and off the field. He genuinely cares about his players and wants them to succeed in life."

There was also one other big factor in play - the J.D. Williams factor. "Me and JD go way back," Davenport said. "Cal was were I was going to go out of high school. We have history together. He coached my high school coach. He's the main reason I'm coming to Washington."

So what did Davenport and Williams talk about this weekend? "He just gave me the backdrop on everything, who they already have in the secondary and the style he likes to use," he said. "We watched game film."

Jason Wells was Davenport's host. "He (Wells) told me how Seattle is a real college town and how all the people there love you, like the students and faculty," Davenport said. "It's like a real family up there, and I got to experience some of that this past weekend. I've been around, so it's not like he had to sell me. It was actually pretty self-explanatory."

There was one other group at UW that made a significant impression on Davenport this weekend - the UW professors and academic staff that were on hand to answer the recruits' questions. "They were really cool," he said. "They're real people, genuine. When I was at UCLA, a lot of the teachers had big egos, but these people went to the school and go to the games. They are fans as well as teachers and they go all-out for their student-athletes."

And lastly, the difference between the quarter system at UW and the semester system at WSU means Davenport has a chance to make it in time for spring. "After my spring semester is over, I plan on coming to Washington," he said. Davenport hopes to finish up by the first part in March, with time enough to enroll in spring quarter at Washington, thus allowing him to be eligible to participate in spring drills.

Davenport will have two years to play two starting the fall of 2007, as he redshirted his first year at UCLA. He had 25 tackles for the Bruins during the 2005 season.

Byron Davenport Scout.com Profile

Dawgman.com Top Stories