Oregon State quarterback Luke Del Rio recently learned he will be eligible to play immediately this fall for the Beavers after transferring from Alabama. That is good news for a quarterback who says he saw the writing on the wall in terms of his status on Alabama’s roster in the post AJ McCarron era.
Del Rio opened up about his departure from Alabama in an interview with The Oregonian Friday. While reflecting on the opportunity to play right away, Del Rio said it was not likely he would have had the same opportunity had he stayed at Alabama. According to Del Rio, Alabama’s caching staff led him to believing he would be receiving a scholarship if he stuck with the team, but eventually head coach Nick Saban made a business decision in deciding Del Rio would not receive a scholarship.
“(Saban) said, ‘We’re not ready to make that commitment yet from a business perspective,’” Del Rio said to The Oregonian. “He said if he had the numbers, then he would have done it. And I respected that.”
It was at that time Del Rio decided he wanted to try and find playing time elsewhere.
“But I sort of saw the writing on the wall, and I left,” Del Rio said. “I didn’t know who would still be interested.”
Oregon State was interested, of course, and the Beavers will allow him to compete for the back-up job behind incumbent starter Sean Mannion. Del Rio won an appeal with the NCAA to allow him to be eligible to play this season because he did not play a snap for Alabama in 2013. Normal transfer rules force a player transferring from one FBS school to another to sit out a season, but in this case the NCAA decided to give Del Rio a pass and let him compete right away.
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Jim Harbaugh‘s life is more interesting than yours and mine. That point has been well established by now. At this point he’s just running up the score.
Michigan’s head coach took some time between Signing Day and the beginning of spring practices to participate in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am festivities and sprinkled his always-entertaining Twitter feed with some star gazing.
So when Kenny G plays Michigan’s Signing Day event next year and Larry the Cable Guy does his routine during the Wolverines’ spring break tip to California, don’t say you weren’t warned.
“I actually am thinking about a few things. There are a few things percolating,” Harbaugh told USA Today before teeing off in the Million Dollar Hole-in-One for Charity challenge alongside the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Clint Eastwood, Wayne Gretzky and Bill Murray — which he lost horribly. “But for the most part I forget about football when I’m out here. Too much too look at, too many shots to take.”
Brady Hoke is looking forward to getting back in coaching this season as Oregon’s defensive coordinator. A year away from the game from the coaching point of view after being let go by Michigan, Hoke is taking on a big task with revamping Oregon’s defense. With the offenses Hoke will see in the Pac-12, he knows the defensive goals that have been regular staples for decades in the past will no longer be what he believes to be a realistic goal.
“It used to be the goal was 13 points or less. That was the standard everybody had,” Hoke said this week as he met with the Oregon media for the first time since being hired. “The style of offenses have changed. You can also see defenses evolving for the style of offense. If you’re going to play Stanford, your team goals for that week may be a little different, defensively, because of the style of offense.
“When you’re going to play Arizona, your points per possession become more important than holding [Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy finalist] Christian McCaffrey under 100 yards rushing. You have to be realistic for your players.”
It seems as though Hoke is prepared to give in on a few defensive goals he has lived by for years in hopes of achieving a larger vision with Oregon’s defense. Considering how much Oregon’s defense needs to improve. The Ducks ranked 117th in total defense in 2015. The lowlight of the season had to be the Alamo Bowl meltdown that saw a 31-point lead against TCU end up with a loss to the Horned Frogs. The question is what will be the goal for the Oregon defense in 2016, and how realistic will it be?
“If you set unrealistic goals — we want challenging goals, but unrealistic goals, that’s not fair to those kids,” Hoke said.
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One of key members of Colorado’s 1990 national championship team is moving up on the coaching staff in Boulder. Darian Hagan, who played quarterback for the Buffs in 1990 and won three Big Eight titles when conferences actually had numbers reflective of the number of teams in their conference, has been promoted to the role of running backs coach. The school announced Hagan’s promotion among a couple of accompanying coaching staff changes on Saturday. Hagan had been serving as a director of player development.
For Hagan, this will be the second time he has held a role as an assistant coach on the Colorado sideline. He was an offensive assistant in 2005 under Gary Barnett and he was a holdover when Dan Hawkins was named head coach in 2006. Hagan moved to the role of director of player development in 2011 under Jon Embree and he continued in that role under head coach Mike MacIntyre.
“Darian brings a lot of pride and passion to our football program with his history here, and also brings expertise to our running backs,” MacIntyre said. “In shifting our offensive staff assignments a little bit, he will give us another dimension in our running game and working with our running backs.
As Hagan gets moved into the coaching staff, MacIntyre adjusting the coaching responsibilities on the offensive side of the staff to make room. Klayton Adams, who was coaching the running backs and tight ends, will now coach the offensive line. Gary Bernardi will take on the coaching duties with the tight ends and fullbacks after coaching the offensive line last season.
Alabama will be adding a 1,000-yard wide receiver by way of a graduate transfer from the MAC. Gehrig Dieter will transfer from Bowling Green to Alabama in 2016, and he will be available to play right away. Dieter announced the news of his transfer to Alabama on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon.
Dieter is scheduled to graduate from Bowling Green in May, which means he will be a graduate transfer. This makes him eligible to play right away next fall at any other FBS program with a spot available. That FBS program just so happens to be the defending national champions. With freshman Calvin Ridley breaking out for the Crimson Tide in 2015 en route to a national championship, it looks as though Alabama will have quite a 1-2 punch at the wide receiver position. However, there could be a minor snag preventing Dieter from playing this season. Because this will be Dieter’s third four-year football program, he will need a waiver approved by the NCAA in order to be cleared to play this season. Dieter previously played at SMU before heading to Bowling Green.
Dieter was Bowling Green’s second-leading receiver in 015 with 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns. Together with Roger Lewis (1,544 yards, 16 touchdowns), and quarterback Matt Johnson (4,946 yards, 46 touchdowns), Bowling Green had a dynamic offense that now faces a bit of an uphill battle heading into the spring. With Dieter transferring and Johnson graduating to the NFL and head coach Dino Babers taking a job at Syracuse, Bowling Green could be set to take a step back next fall.