Chris Petersen: Cyler Miles is ‘behind’ rest of Huskies’ QBs

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A funny thing happened to Cyler Miles before he could become the future of Washington Huskies football.

It started when former coach Steve Sarkisian left the Huskies to take the USC job, while Boise State’s Chris Petersen was hired to replace him.

Miles was then suspended in February due to an on-campus incident.  The quarterback was reinstated by the team in May after he wasn’t charged in the incident, but he already missed all of spring practice.

Between last season and today, Miles may have fallen too far behind in the quarterback competition to become Keith Price’s heir apparent.

“(Miles is) behind,” Petersen told local media during his pre-camp press conference. “He’s done some things, as much as he can after spring ball, to get caught up. That’s a lot of meeting time, that’s a lot of practice time, that’s a lot of reps. He’s had these concepts, a lot of them. Some of them might be renamed and those sorts of things…that’s such a detailed position it’s going to take him a while to process that. It’s hard. He missed a lot.”

The competition will be a four-horse race between Miles, Jeff Lindquist, K.J. Carta-Samuels and Troy Williams to win the starting quarterback job. Petersen isn’t too worried which quarterback receives the first repetition at the start of camp Monday.

“I don’t even know,” Petersen said. “That’s how important I think it is, or don’t think it is. All these guys are going to get reps. We’ll divide the quarterbacks up two and two — I believe Jeff and Troy will go in the morning; K.J. (Carta-Samuels) and Cyler (Miles) will go in the afternoon. That’s the hard one right there…how do you get your quarterbacks all the reps that they need when you’re trying to look at all these guys. That’s going to be tricky all the way through fall camp. We’re going to continue to evaluate it day by day, to tell you the truth.”

“Certainly that quarterback situation, if there is one position you would like to have stabilized it would be that, but if we don’t know, I think I said this before, even game week hopefully we’ll have that figured out, who that guy is going to be and if it’s both of them then we’re going to have to figure that out. When we know we’ll know. we don’t’ want to set a timetable on that.”

Even if Miles wins the competition, the sophomore won’t be able to contribute to the team Aug. 30 against the Hawai’i Warriors after being suspended for the season-opener. And he’s not guaranteed to start the second game either.

“I hope that’s a problem I have to deal with,” Petersen said. “And that’s an assumption from you guys. You know better than I do. You’ve seen him a lot more than I have. That’s something we’ll deal with down the road. We don’t know. I’m anxious to get him back in the mix and see what he can do. He’s like a freshman. I’m always so anxious to get the freshmen out there. You’ve recruited them, you’ve seen them but you don’t’ know until you go out there and watch them run around. You’re really excited about some and some you’re like ‘I thought he would be a little further along.’ It’s always such an interesting process and for Cyler I feel the same way because he just wasn’t with us. I’m anxious to get him out there and see what he does.”

USC nabs Todd Orlando from Texas Tech

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USC has a new defensive coordinator. The Trojans announced on Friday the school has officially hired Todd Orlando to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Orlando joins USC after coaching the past three seasons at Texas.

Orlando actually joined the Texas Tech program after being let go by Texas following staff changes with the Longhorns. Despite landing a job with the Red Raiders, Orlando remained a top target for USC head coach Clay Helton.

“We are excited to have Todd join our Trojan football program,” Helton said in a released statement. “He is an experienced and successful defensive coordinator who has made an impact everywhere he has coached. He brings a passion, energy, toughness and discipline to his coaching and those characteristics were evident in our discussions. His defensive system poses an extreme challenge to offenses.”

Orlando replaces Clancy Pendergast, who was let go by Helton amid USC’s own staff changes after a down 2019 season. As previously mentioned (HERE), Orlando actually had worse defensive numbers compared to what Pendergast coached with USC last season. However, a contrast of playing styles and offensive outputs between the schedule Texas faced in 2019 (including games against LSU and Oklahoma) and what USC faced could lead to some skewed figures.

Orlando’s first test as a defensive coordinator will be a monster. USC opens the 2020 season in Arlington, Texas against Alabama.

Cal loses assistant Gerald Alexander to NFL job

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Cal assistant coach Gerald Alexander is leaving to coach with the Miami Dolphins. Alexander confirmed in a message posted on his Twitter account he is heading to the NFL for a coaching opportunity. Multiple reports have confirmed it will be with the Miami Dolphins.

Alexander thanked Cal head coach Justin Wilcox for the opportunity to be a part of Wilcox’s first coaching staff at Cal.

Alexander joined the Cal program in 2017 and spent the past three seasons as a defensive backs coach for the program. He has played a role in helping to coach one of the better defensive teams in the Pac-12. He previously coached at Montana State, Indiana State and with Chris Peterssen at Washington. Alexander played for Petersen at Boise State.

This will mark a return to the NFL for Alexander. He previously played in the league for five seasons with the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and, appropriately enough, the Miami Dolphins. Alexander was a second-round draft pick of Detroit in 2007.

Tulane officially adds Oklahoma State transfer LB Kevin Henry

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One of the nearly dozen Oklahoma State football players who entered the transfer portal this cycle has found a new collegiate home.

Thursday, Tulane announced that Kevin Henry has officially been added to the program’s roster.  As the linebacker left the Oklahoma State football team as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play for the AAC team immediately in 2020.

The upcoming season will serve as Henry’s final year of eligibility.  Henry had previously been awarded a sixth season from the NCAA after taking a redshirt as a true freshman and then missing all but one game of 2017 because of a torn ACL.

A three-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2015, Henry was rated as the No. 25 safety in the country.  He was also the No. 20 player regardless of position in the state of Louisiana.  Only one signee on the defensive side of the ball in OSU’s class that year, defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, was rated higher than Henry.

Daniels, incidentally, ultimately finished up his collegiate playing career at Nebraska after transferring to the Cornhuskers in December of 2018.

During his time in Stillwater, Henry played in a total of 36 games, including a dozen appearances this past season.  He started one of those three-dozen games, Oklahoma State football’s Liberty Bowl win over Missouri following the 2018 regular season.

In those appearances, Daniels was credited with 51 tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble, one quarterback hit and one pass defensed.

Texas A&M officially hires assistant who was at Florida State for a month

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Texas A&M football has officially pilfered Mike Norvell‘s first Florida State coaching staff.

Dec. 28, Norvell announced that he was bringing TJ Rushing along with him from Memphis.  Nearly a month later, and after reports had it headed in that direction for the last week or so, A&M confirmed that Jimbo Fisher has hired Rushing as defensive backs coach.

Rushing had not officially signed a contract at FSU. As a result, he will not owe that school any type of buyout.

“TJ has an outstanding track record of playing, teaching and developing quality defensive backs,” the Texas A&M football head coach said in a statement. “He is a tireless worker, an outstanding recruiter and he coaches with a lot of fire and enthusiasm. He will make a great addition to our coaching staff.”

The past two seasons, Rushing, who played his college football at Stanford, was Norvell’s defensive backs coach at Memphis. He was also the Tigers’ passing-game coordinator.

From 2016-17, he was the defensive backs coach at Arizona State.  He just missed working with Norvell on that staff as well.

Rushing started his coaching career as a graduate assistant (2012) and defensive quality control coach (2013) at his alma mater. His first on-field job came as cornerbacks coach at Northern Arizona in 2014.  In 2015, he was a defensive assistant at Stanford.

Rushing is the second assistant Fisher has added to his coaching staff in as many days.  Yesterday, Tyler Santucci was hired by A&M as linebackers coach.  Santucci had spent the 2019 season in the same job at Wake Forest.

Fisher still has one hole on his staff to fill.  Earlier this month, tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley took a job with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss. In addition to tight ends coach, Finley will also be passing-game coordinator.