After an offseason that saw transfers get held up all over the nation, it's nice to hear of a coach freeing up a player to pursue their individual goals without much drama. The Miami Herald reported that Miami has released freshman cornerback Vernon Davis recently, and the incoming freshman plans on heading to West Virginia to play for the Mountaineers.
For Davis, it boiled down to getting to Miami, seeing a packed depth chart, plus the 'Canes recruiting even more defensive back talent and not truly feeling comfortable. It happens, and instead of running the risk of not getting action as his career progressed, Davis is heading to West Virginia, a place where, in the pass-happy Big 12, the Mountaineers will take all the help they can get.
Good for him. If you're not happy, you're not happy, and there's nothing wrong with exploring another avenue.
On the Miami side of things, it is not a huge loss. The Hurricanes have gobs of young talent on the secondary and a quick look at their commitment list shows that they are still hunting for elite corners.
Ultimately, the goal here is to work with the player. As the Herald reported, the coaches wanted Davis to stay. In college football, depth is critical and a player who is still developing, like Davis, can evolve into a solid player down the line to help with depth. However, if the player has his mindset on searching for greener pastures, letting him go, with no showy power struggle, is a wise move.
It helps, not only with the existing situation, but with the wildly interconnected world that is high school football. Vernon Davis' coach still likes the Miami staff; that's a big thing, as Coral Reef High School is right in Miami's target area for landing prospects.
Avoiding power struggles and keeping high school coaches goes a long way toward building goodwill. Goodwill that Miami needs as they try to rebuild that fence around South Florida when it comes to pulling some of the nation's best recruits.
In a situation like this, the 'Canes lose a player, but they retain their positive vibes in the recruiting community, even with the head coach who is seeing his player head elsewhere. Davis is headed to West Virginia, where he'll sit out a year, per NCAA restrictions, but have the shot to see the field early in 2013. By and large, just about everyone wins here.