BYU football moves Michael Davis back to cornerback

2014-08-05T20:00:00Z 2014-08-07T22:16:18Z BYU football moves Michael Davis back to cornerbackJared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
August 05, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

BYU sophomore Michael Davis probably didn't expect to end up with so much waffling over his position when he got to Provo.

Yes, in the last year the Cougar speedster has had his position changed more than a politician during an election campaign.

First he was a wide receiver ... then last fall he moved to defensive back ... then this spring he was back at wide receiver.

And, as of Tuesday, he is back wearing the white jerseys of the defense, once again being asked to play cornerback.

Davis explained that he was asked to make the switch this time and said he would do it for the team, although it came as a surprise.

"I heard some rumors about it but I didn't know until today when Mendenhall called me out of the meetings and told me I would be switching to defense," Davis said. "It was a little hard today, but I got the hang of it as practice went on."

Speculation about the move being because of the new crop of wide receivers or because of rumblings of secondary suspensions will probably run wild, but BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said he thinks Davis might have more of a future at cornerback.

"We all know (depth) can change at any time but it also had something to do with what his upside is," Mendenhall said. "When I look at where the team needs a player, but also at what his best position might be in terms of what his future is, I kind of think he could be a really, really nice corner. That played into that also."

Mendenhall said Davis proved what he could do when he was needed in 2013, and that gives them some options.

"We liked a lot of what we saw last year from Michael," Mendenhall said. "That was more out of necessity. A lot of the growth that is happening right now on our team is based on competition and I thought even more competition at corner would be good. He did a nice job."

Davis wouldn't go so far as to say he loves being a corner, yet but said he's comfortable there. He added that the other corners and safeties were pretty surprised.

"I have some good friends like Kai (Nacua)," Davis said. "They were out there cheering me on, so that was good."

Davis is just part of the overall puzzle that is coming together in the Cougar secondary. Mendenhall gave an overview of what he is seeing from that unit.

"There are a lot of good things," Mendenhall said. "Dallin Leavitt's development is coming along nicely. Craig Bills is very steady. Skye Povey can play either boundary corner or at the safety spot. Chris Badger has been very strong in camp, as has Harvey Jackson. Our safety spots I like.

"We know we have Jordan (Johnson) and Rob (Daniel) at the corner spots, which is a fantastic thing. I like the development a lot of Kai Nacua, Michael Shelton and Jordan Preator. I would say the up-and-comers are in that group."

The BYU head coach added that he liked what Davis adds by going back to the defensive side of the ball.

"You throw (Michael Davis) into that mix and there is a little more maturity, a little more speed and athleticism, where he's not a newcomer and not a veteran," Mendenhall said. "He's kind of in between and that kind of links it together."

Davis said that the time spent playing wide receiver has helped him be better at defensive back -- although he tries not to cheat by looking at the offensive calls.

"I just try to keep my mind on defense," Davis said.

BYU junior quarterback Taysom Hill will now be trying to get the ball past Davis instead of get it to him, but said he has no doubt the sophomore will be a big contributor on the defensive side of the ball.

"He makes plays," Hill said. "Corner is not easy to play and it's been a transition for him. I've been talking to him, and he's having to struggle through it."

Hill added that he can see how all the switching would wear on a guy but said Davis is a player with the ability to handle it.

"It just shows how good an athlete Mike is that he can go back and forth like that," Hill said. "I feel bad for him because he can’t hone in on one of those skills and get a starting position. But he's a team player and we’re lucky to have him on our team."

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

Copyright 2015 Daily Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest scores and more from all sports

MLB:  News | Scoreboard NFL:  News | Scoreboard NBA:  News | Scoreboard
NHL:  News | Scoreboard NCAA FB:  News | Scoreboard NCAA BK:  News | Scoreboard
Golf:  News | Leaderboard Auto Racing:  News | Results Tennis:  News | Scoreboard
Other: MLS  |  Womens NCAA BK  |  WNBA  |  CFL  |  Minor League Baseball  |  NFL Draft  |  NBA Draft