Marques Tuiasosopo

Tuiasosopo returning to Washington as QBs coach


One of the greatest players, let alone quarterbacks, in the history of the Washington football program is coming home.  Again.

Following up on speculation that had been percolating over the past day or so, UW confirmed via a press release Saturday night that Marques Tuiasosopo has been hired as the Huskies’ new quarterbacks coach.  Tuiasosopo had spent the past two seasons at UCLA.

“I’m very excited to come back home to coach where I played and to help Coach Sarkisian continue to bring the Huskies back to where we belong: at the top of the Pac-12, in the Rose Bowl and competing for championships,” Tuiasosopo said in comments released by the school. “I’m also happy to be coaching the position I love.

“I’m very grateful to Jim Mora and UCLA for giving me the opportunity to get my first full-time coaching job.”

Current UW quarterbacks coach Eric Kiesau will move over to coach wide receivers — replacing Jimmie Dougherty, who left to become the offensive coordinator at San Jose State — while also retaining his coordinator duties.

Tuiasosopo spent 2009 and 2010 as an assistant strength coach at UW before leaving for the Bruins.  He was a grad assistant at the alma mater of his father — underrated former NFL player Manu Tuiasosopo — in 2011 before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2012.

It was at UW, though, that the son matched and even surpassed dad’s notoriety.

From 1997-2000, Tuiasosopo set the Huskies’ career mark for total offense.  After being named as the Pac-10’s Offensive Player of the Year in his last season at UW, Tuiasosopo went on to spend eight seasons as mainly a backup quarterback in the NFL.

“Marques is a Husky football legend,” UW head coach Steve Sarkisian said, “and we’re excited to welcome him back home to Washington.

“He brings a high level of expertise about the quarterback position which will be of great benefit to our program.”

Sarkisian still has one hole left on his staff to fill as running backs coach Joel Thomas left for the same position at Arkansas.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.