"I always wanted to play corner. It's a perfect opportunity and it's perfect timing," Maryland's Sean Davis said of his move from safety to cornerback. (Kevin Richardson/BSMG)
Maryland defensive back Sean Davis continues to learn a cornerback position that he has not played regularly since he was a young football player at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Davis, a junior who was moved to cornerback because of injuries, likes his new position and has expressed an interest in staying there.
"I always wanted to play corner," said Davis, who had been a starting safety for the Terps since his freshman season in 2012. "I just had the opportunity, and it's a perfect opportunity, perfect timing to showcase my versatility that I can be out there by myself sometimes.
"It is fun. I definitely want to play it. It's less stress on me. It's just a perfect opportunity. I think I've handled it well."
Maryland has suffered several injuries at cornerback this season, depleting the position to the point that the Terps may have had to start a sophomore with minimal playing experience -- Jarrett Ross -- if not for Davis sliding over from safety.
Starting cornerback Alvin Hill was lost for the season to a knee injury in September, and his replacement, Jeremiah Johnson, has been limited by a hamstring injury the last two games.
Johnson's injury prompted Terps coach Randy Edsall to experiment with Davis, whose size (6 feet 1, 200 pounds), athletic skills and upside as a corner blitzer intrigued Edsall as early as Davis' first practices at cornerback.
There have been growing pains, plays like the 33-yard completion that Davis allowed against Penn State, that come along with an unfamiliar position.
However, Davis had 11 tackles and three pass breakups against the Nittany Lions, helping Maryland hold Penn State to 219 yards of total offense and 19 points.
The Washington, D.C., native was then a big factor in Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook completing just 14 of 31 pass attempts in the Spartans' win over Maryland last week.
Faced with the challenge of stopping the Big Ten's leading receiver, Tony Lippett, Davis contributed to the Terps limiting Lippett to modest totals of four catches for 46 yards.
"The thing is, he has done well there and has picked it up and has done a really good job," Edsall said. "We just see him doing some things that we thought he could do. The transition with him is pretty easy because of the athlete that he is."
The Terps likely will use Davis at cornerback through the end of the season before a final decision is made during the offseason on which position he'll play in the future.
"I came here to play safety," Davis said. "I'm doing what's best for the team right now. We'll just take it week-by-week. And at the end of the season, we'll sit down and talk about it."
The immediate concern is Michigan, the next challenge for Davis at cornerback.
Davis said he will start at cornerback for the third game and will be tasked with helping to slow down highly regarded 6-foot-5, 230-pound Wolverines wide receiver Devin Funchess, a converted tight end who is third in the Big Ten in catches per game.
"I guess I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be [technique-wise early on]. But that comes with reps," Davis said. "I was just thrown into the fire. But I've had fun. I think I did a solid job. We're going to just try to keep improving on that as we go on."