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By LARRY VAUGHT
The family knows the odds are probably against them, but twins Chris and Demitrious Davis have filed an appeal with the NCAA to allow them to play at the University of Kentucky this season.
The Ohio standouts signed with Pittsburgh and new coach Paul Chryst after being recruited by former coach Todd Graham. Chryst took over late in the recruiting process and the twins started their Pitt careers as receivers before Demitrious was moved to running back during the 2012 season and Chris was shifted to defensive back in spring practice. Both were redshirted and did not play.
“They are supposed to report to UK on Aug. 2,” said their father, Chris Davis. “We are trying to work it out to get them down their a week earlier. Camp starts Aug. 5. We wrote a letter to the NCAA asking for them to be eligible this year and we are waiting on a response to see what they say. We are hoping for the best. It was worth a shot. We know with so much going on with the NCAA, it may take time for them to respond. We will probably find out during (preseason) camp if they are eligible to play this year or not. That would be a blessing and a great situation for them.”
Chris Davis was a two-way standout at receiver and defensive back for Austintown (Ohio) Fitch. He caught 50 passes over his final two seasons and had six interceptions in his three seasons as a starter. Demitrious Davis played in only three games as a senior due to a knee injury, but when he was healthy he was an athletic quarterback. He was a 1,000-yard rusher and passer his junior season.
The twins, who both weigh about 200 pounds, could provide needed depth at receiver or help at cornerback if Chris Davis plays that position.
“The coaching change came so close to signing day. The coaching staff came in after the bowl game and when they made a home visit with us, I think it was maybe a week or two before national signing day,” Chris Davis, the father, said. “I don’t know what the NCAA will say. They were at Pitt, but they did not play. We are hoping that can be a factor in our favor. We are not trying to bash the Pittsburgh staff. We are just saying we were told something by the new staff within 30 days of the signing day and kind of led down one road that didn’t turn out to be right. We do understand that is recruiting. We are just hoping maybe there will be some leniency. I know at one time the NCAA was talking about a rule where a kid would be allowed one transfer in his first three years of college without being penalized. I do not know where they are with that. Maybe they will fall into that category. This is certainly one example of where the rule could apply and benefit kids.”
If the appeal is denied, the twins will be fine, too.
“We are confident everything will be okay no matter what,” the father said. “My family loves the coaching staff. We love coach (Mark) Stoops, coach (Vince) Marrow. And coach (Neal) Brown has really made us feel at home. He says exciting things. Coach (Derrick) Ansley says good things.
“It is the kind of staff as a father you want your children playing for. They are going to coach your kids, but they are also player’s coaches. They are going to build trust with players and that’s what coaches of successful programs do.”