BYU football: Sophomore receiver Michael Davis moved back to defense
By Jay Drew
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Aug 05 2014 08:39PM
Provo • The BYU Cougars are a bit thin again at cornerback, especially with the probable opening-game suspensions of the projected starting corners, seniors Jordan Johnson and Robertson Daniel.
Junior college transfer Trenton Trammell, versatile senior Skye PoVey, freshman Michael Shelton and walk-on Garrett Juergens have been getting the most reps with the ones in the parts of practice the media has been allowed to watch, and the results haven’t been all that encouraging in the 11-on-11 segments. They’ve been better in 7-on-7s, to be fair.
Connecticut coaches, quarterbacks and receivers might just be licking their chops.
Tuesday, BYU coaches took a step toward possibly remedying that situation, moving sophomore speedster Michael Davis back to cornerback, a position he switched to last season. At spring camp and through the first three practices of preseason camp, Davis had been playing receiver, the position he was recruited to play out of Southern California’s Glendale High.
"Yeah, we liked a lot of what we saw last year [when Davis played corner]," coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "That was more out of necessity. A lot of the growth with our team right now is based on competition. And I thought even more competition at corner would be good."
The move was made easier by the fact that the Cougars are deep at receiver, where Davis was sixth or seventh on the depth chart, Mendenhall acknowledged.
"It also had to do with what his upside is," Mendenhall said. "When I look at where a team needs a player, but also what his best position might be in terms of what his future is, I kinda think he could be a really, really nice corner."
Davis said he learned of the switch at Tuesday’s morning meetings and that he was OK with it as long as it helps the team. He said it is not known yet whether he will stay at cornerback for good.
"Sometimes I see myself like a Richard Sherman [of the Seattle Seahawks], who is tall and fast," Davis said. "So we will just see what happens this year, see if I can pursue that as a career as a cornerback."
Nose tackle not saying
Like the aforementioned Johnson and Daniel, nose tackle Marques Johnson is listed as a starter on the defensive depth chart but getting reps with the twos and threes, not with the ones. While Jordan Johnson and Daniel declined interview requests Tuesday, Marques Johnson climbed the stairs to the post-practice interview room and acknowledged that he’s yet to see first-team reps.
Asked if he’s being punished and whether he might be suspended in the opener, he said: "You have to talk to coach Mendenhall about that kind of stuff. I am just out there doing what I have to do so I can ball out this year."
Mendenhall stays mum
Asked Tuesday if anything can be deduced by the fact that Daniel and the Johnsons are not running with the ones, Mendenhall addressed the topic by alluding to what he said last week when star running back Jamaal Williams’ announced his own one-game suspension.
"I prefer to handle it all internally and as discreetly as possible," he said. "So what you can read into it is we are working on development of players and people, within a team setting, and hopefully as privately as we can."
Takitaki could play
Freshman linebacker Sione Takitaki was reportedly dismissed from the team in July, but he was allowed back on the team and has been practicing since camp opened last Friday. Mendenhall said Utah transfer Harvey Langi and Takitaki are getting noticed by their strong play at practice, but didn’t go into any details on Takitaki’s situation other than to confirm that he is a "full member" of the team and eligible to play this season.
"There are no issues with him," Mendenhall said.
Quarterback McCoy Hill, the third- or fourth-stringer, will undergo knee surgery Monday and likely will be out a few weeks. … Wednesday’s practice will be open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. at the outdoor practice field behind the student athlete building on campus.