All-American safety may become linebacker

Updated: January 4, 2005, 11:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Georgia: Georgia All-American junior free safety Thomas Davis is leaving for the NFL, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Davis' high school coach, Jim McFather, told the newspaper Davis "called me … and said, 'Coach, I'm gone.' "

Davis, who could not be reached Tuesday, reportedly signed with Atlanta-based agent Todd France. Coach Mark Richt has apparently been told of the decision but he and his staff were not available Tuesday.

Davis and McFather discussed leaving for the NFL the day after returning home from the Outback Bowl.

"We talked about him going pro last year about this time but he said the best he'd been told he would be was a second-round pick," McFather said. "He said, 'I'll stay another year because we've got a shot at winning a national championship.' "

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Davis is regarded as an aggressive, physical safety who could become an outside linebacker in the NFL. He led the Bulldogs in tackles the last two seasons.

Syracuse: Bills defense coordinator Jerry Gray is expected to meet around Thursday with Syracuse. The meeting could occur in Los Angeles. Syracuse contacted the Bills Monday and asked for permission to interview him.

Gray is considered a growingly popular head-coaching candidate because of his aggressive defensive schemes. The Bills finished second in the NFL on defense, allowing 264.3 yards a game.

Grambling State: New Grambling State athletic director Willie Jeffries arrives on campus this week, set to begin going through a growing stack of résumés for a head football coach.

Among those he will be studying is that of interim Grambling coach Melvin Spears.

"I did that on the first day [the job was posted]," said Spears, who replaced Doug Williams in February after Williams took a front office position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Spears then led GSU to a 6-5 record during an injury-marred season. "I haven't heard from anybody. I guess they'll start when school gets back in."

New school president Horace Judson has indicated that the interview process would begin in early January. GSU's timetable is tightened by the recruiting season, which culminates with National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

Another confirmed applicant is former Alabama State coach L.C. Cole.

Lee Fobbs, a finalist to replace Eddie Robinson in 1998 when Williams was hired, also confirmed that he has applied. But he has not been contacted about an interview.

Utah: New Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham completed his staff Tuesday by hiring two assistants.

Jay Boulware and Dave Schramm will coach the tight ends and running backs for the Utes. Both have experience coaching both positions and Whittingham hasn't determined their responsibilities yet.

Boulware coached Stanford's running backs last season and Schramm coached offensive tackles, tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator at Montana.

Boulware has also coached at Arizona and Northern Illinois and was a graduate assistant at Texas, where he was an offensive lineman.

Schramm spent 12 years on the staff at San Diego State and also was a graduate assistant at Nebraska.

Information from ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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