Davis makes move from VT to ETSU

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF

   JOHNSON CITY -- Nobody seems to know what a Hokie is, and Jason Davis probably doesn't care anymore.
   The Virginia Tech backup quarterback recently left the Big East school and enrolled at East Tennessee State University.
   The former Seymour High School standout went to the Gator Bowl a couple of weeks ago, then left the team in search of a better opportunity at ETSU.
   "When Jason went to the Gator Bowl, he had considered making a move," ETSU head coach Paul Hamilton said. "He got a release to talk to other schools. He contacted us, and we were interested. We're very enthused to have him as part of our program."
   Davis started the season as the Hokies second-string quarterback behind Grant Noel, but was moved to third-string with the emergence of Bryan Randall.
   Davis did start in the Hokies' Maroon and White game back in April. He went 8-of-17 for 117 yards with two interceptions.
   Davis did show off his arm-strength in that contest, as he completed a 40-yard pass to former Elizabethton High standout Shawn Witten.
   "We're very impressed with him," Hamilton said. "He's an outstanding athlete with great arm-strength. He has a chance to compete for our starting quarterback position."
   Hamilton would have been thrilled to get Davis out of high school, but the opportunity wasn't there for the Bucs at that time.
   "We didn't have the opportunity," Hamilton said. "He was recruited by many 1-A schools."
   Hamilton believes Davis has the skills to utilize all of ETSU's receivers, something that didn't happen in 2001.
   "He's got the type of throwing arm where he can throw from one hash to the other," Hamilton said. He can throw over the top using all our receivers. I think he's excited about our receivers. We should be able to spread the ball around more."
   Davis coming into the program really makes the quarterback position an interesting one for ETSU. The Bucs now have three guys who could end up being the starter.
   Jatavis Sanders backed up outgoing quarterback Matt Wilhjelm last season, but is far from the front-runner. DaShannon Gamble had an excellent spring practice last season, but then was suspended because of academic troubles. He is back in school this semester.
   Now you throw in Davis, and Hamilton is pretty much all smiles about the position.
   "The one thing we have done is strengthen the quarterback position," Hamilton said. "We're much stronger there now than we were at this time last year. Last year Matt, DaShannon and Jatavis had very little experience. This year Jason played in the spring game at Virginia Tech, DaShannon has been through a spring practice and Jatavis has a year under his belt.
   "I think we've got a chance to be pretty healthy at quarterback. We'll see who moves the football. But we have a chance to have an outstanding starter, and a good backup at the quarterback position."
   ETSU NOTES:
   *The Bucs have beefed up the offensive line some during the off-season. Scottsdale Community College's Brock Pittman (6-3, 280) has transferred to ETSU. Also in the mix will be
   *Many ETSU fans were hoping that Science Hill wide receiver Bryson Bowling would stay in Johnson City, but the lure of 1-A football was just too good to pass up. Bowling verbally committed to East Carolina this week.