Just a few weeks after losing their top recruiter and defensive line coach Eric Henderson to the Los Angeles Chargers, UTSA head coach Frank Wilson has managed to find a way to upgrade the program’s coaching talent at the position.
UTSA hires Bo Davis as defensive line coach https://t.co/0gbCwSKxdX— UTSA Athletics (@UTSAAthletics) February 22, 2017
One of the most decorated position coaches in college football, Bo Davis’ hiring at UTSA is nothing short of a major coup for the Roadrunners as they seek to accelerate their rise from start-up to conference championship contender.
An LSU letterman as a nose guard, Davis got his start in coaching at talent-rich Galena Park North Shore High (Texas) where he tutored NFL veteran Cory Redding. Davis would go on to work under Nick Saban for several years at LSU, Alabama, and with the Miami Dolphins. He also spent time coaching defensive linemen at Texas under Mack Brown from 2011 to 2013.
Davis was forced to leave Alabama in 2015 after a run-in with the NCAA. Davis’ infractions were quite modest and very common however compounded mistakes led to his dismissal. Per Al.com,
According to AL.com sources, it all stems from a meeting that took place on Dec. 11, 2014 at Episcopal High School in Texas.
The NCAA believes Davis pre-arranged a visit with then-sophomores Marvin Wilson, Walker Little and Jhamon Ausbon and junior Giovanni Pancotti, at least 18 months before coaches were allowed to have off-campus visits with sophomores and at least six months before coaches were allowed to have such contact with juniors.
The investigation began in May 2015 after the NCAA received a tip about Davis meeting with the four players, a visit that was allegedly set up by someone close to the Alabama program.
During an interview with the NCAA, Episcopal coach Steve Leisz said that person close to the Tide program contacted him about pulling the four players out of class. That person was later present as Davis met with the players for approximately 20 minutes, according to Leisz.
While Davis’ actions are certainly punishable, it’s a far cry from rampant bylaw abuse that lands coaches with show clauses that prevent them from being hired at the collegiate level. Davis’ real issue is that he initially denied his actions which landed him in even hotter water. Had Davis owned up to his infraction he likely would have simply served a one-game suspension and moved forward after missing the Crimson Tide’s 2016 match up against Kent State. With Alabama’s athletic director Bill Battles’ trust in Davis crushed, he was compelled to ask Davis to resign.
Davis spent the 2016 football season interning with the Jacksonville Jaguars while also driving tow trucks for additional income. It must have been quite the humbling experience for a coach that had worked his way up the coaching totem pole to the tune of an annual salary of just under $500,000.
Scout.com’s 2016 national recruiter of the year, Davis will have a terrific opportunity to revamp his image in San Antonio. UTSA has impressive defensive line talent on their roster as defensive end Marcus Davenport, defensive tackle Kevin Strong, and nose tackle Baylen Baker all have the potential to play at the next level. 6’5” sophomore defensive end and former high school quarterback Eric Banks also has the physical tools to be an exceptional pass rusher and an NFL draft pick if Davis can develop him to his potential.
UTSA’s facilities and monetary resources are light years behind what Davis grew accustomed to at Alabama and UT but he will be surrounded by exceptional recruiters and veteran coaches. The addition of Bo Davis gives UTSA two national recruiters of the year on campus (Frank Wilson 2011 and 2014, Bo Davis 2016), a stat that even few Power Five programs can match. The Roadrunners’ 2018 class is already off to a hot start and Davis’ presence should only help UTSA with their goal of landing the top recruiting class in Conference USA.