MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Sometimes this coaching football thing isn't as complex as it seems.
Take the case of West Virginia and Vernon Davis, for example.
Davis was a cornerback who was recruited by West Virginia and Miami, among others. He decided on Miami and enrolled there as a freshman last summer.
A week or so into his career with the Hurricanes, however, he apparently had a change of heart. He withdrew from Miami and enrolled at West Virginia.
So much for the complexities of recruiting. Sometimes players just fall into your lap.
But it was after Davis spent the fall sitting out - because he'd enrolled at Miami he had to sit out a year, so he just burned his redshirt and practiced with the Mountaineers - that the really elementary coaching decision was made in his regard. It came last week as WVU was going through spring drills.
Davis had arrived here as a cornerback and there was never really much thought that he might do anything else, at least full time. Yes, he was given a chance to field punts this spring, but given the state of West Virginia's secondary last season, handing over to someone else a potential contributor at cornerback didn't seem likely.
But then Dana Holgorsen stood and watched Davis fielding those punts early in last Tuesday's practice.
"We were watching him catch punts. I was watching Vernon catch and run, and he was running forward at a faster rate than he was running backwards,'' Holgorsen said. "He was sticking his toe in the ground and he was fluid.''
Cornerbacks, of course, are expected to be able to run backward at a fairly rapid clip. Receivers are just the opposite. They're supposed to run forward.
Bingo. Light bulb clicks on. So when the special-teams period ends and everyone goes to position drills, Holgorsen calls Davis over.
"Go line up and catch some passes with those guys,'' he might have said.