The move was made simply by necessity, a product of injuries continuing to pile up for Maryland at cornerback.
But Terps coach Randy Edsall became intrigued by Sean Davis' potential at cornerback as early as Davis' first practices at the position last week, watching as the junior flashed potential as a corner blitzer while showing a combination of height, long arms and advanced cover skills for a trained safety.
Davis' game against Penn State on Saturday included some lapses and mistakes that go along with a player seeing his first extensive action at a position since high school.
However, Davis had three pass deflections, twice stopped Penn State running backs around the line of scrimmage as a corner blitzer and flashed some of the skills that intrigued his head coach during practice last week.
"I thought Sean did a good job out there," Edsall said. "I thought he did some really good things, and then I thought there were some things where his technique on a couple plays might have been lacking just a little bit just because he hasn't been doing those things. But I thought making that move was the best thing for us, and I thought that he went out and did a really good job."
As of earlier this week, Davis' future at cornerback was yet to be determined.
The reason Davis was moved to cornerback and ended up starting versus Penn State was because starter Jeremiah Johnson was dealing with a hamstring injury that limited him throughout practice last week and left him mostly unavailable against the Nittany Lions.
If Johnson's health improves heading into next week's game against Michigan State could cause Edsall to move Davis back to strong safety, where he has been a full-time starter since last season.
However, it is also possible that Edsall could leave Davis at cornerback — or at least revisit the possibility of a permanent change after the season.
Davis has had some noticeable blunders at safety, beaten or exploited in coverage for several big plays and touchdowns.
While the sample size is small at cornerback, the combination of Davis’ skill set, size at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and some of the plays he made during practice and against Penn State make leaving Davis at cornerback at least something intriguing for Maryland coaches to consider.
What makes it even more conceivable is that the Terps are down to inexperienced players behind starting cornerbacks Will Likely and Johnson and have junior Zach Dancel, who can step in for Davis at safety.
Edsall said Dancel "went in and did a really good job" against Penn State.
"We'll just evaluate it," Edsall said. "We'll see where we are from a health standpoint with guys, and none of that determination will probably be made until Sunday … or going into Tuesday's practice."