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Scott Boras: 2018 season will be Kyler Murray’s last in college football

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Kyler Murray‘s situation is going to be a year-long fascination for media covering Oklahoma because, well, it’s a fascinating situation. The two-sport star was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in June’s MLB draft, but the club and the quarterback quickly worked out a deal that will allow Murray to play football in 2018 before turning his attention to the diamond in 2019 and beyond — and then handed him $4.6 million to secure Murray’s commitment starting next year.

Each of the principals was on board with the plan, with A’s scouting director Eric Kubota saying on draft night, “We were totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma. Frankly, we’re kind of excited to be Oklahoma fans.”

Each of the principals was on board, it seems, except OU head coach Lincoln Riley.

“Well, I’m not really,” Riley told The Oklahoman when asked how he’ll approach his quarterback position given Murray is essentially a senior this season. “Decide how I want to handle that … um, we’ll see if it’s his final year. That hasn’t been determined yet. I’m not worried about it if it is or if it isn’t. That’s gonna have no impact on this year.”

Pressed on the issue, Riley went on to say he wasn’t informed on his quarterback’s contract situation — an odd explanation, since it’s part of his job to be informed of his quarterback’s availability.

“I’ve stayed out of the negotiation stuff with the A’s,” Riley said. “That’s not my business. It’s his business. My hope through this whole thing is that Kyler is gonna be able to do what he wants to do. If he wants to go play baseball after this year, then we’ll wish him well and be happy for him. But the ball’s gonna be in his court, which is where it should be.”

Reached by The Athletic on Saturday, baseball super-agent Scott Boras confirmed that, yes, this is Murray’s final season. That’s what the $4.6 million was for, after all. “Kyler’s baseball career has a very defined path which includes playing football at OU for only the 2018 season,” he told the site.

Riley also insisted at Big 12 media days that Murray has not yet secured the Sooners’ starting quarterback job, saying that redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall was very much in competition with Murray.

Asked if Murray would truly come back to school without a starting job assured to him given the A’s have promised him $4.6 million, Riley said, “Because he loves football. He simply loves football. A lot of people have a hard time believing that, but money’s not everything to some people. Not to say that doesn’t factor in — I’m sure it does — but the kid, he loves football.”

Murray served as Baker Mayfield‘s backup last season, hitting 18-of-21 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 14 times for 142 yards. Kendall redshirted last fall after completing 16-of-22 passes for 143 yards with two scores and no picks in two appearances as a true freshman in 2016.

It certainly seems like Murray will be Oklahoma’s quarterback for 2018 and 2018 only. But maybe, in Riley’s world, Murray will be Kendall’s backup for the next two years and tell the A’s to pound sand.

Western Kentucky’s leading tackler taking grad transfer to Purdue

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A significant loss for Western Kentucky’s defense could prove to be a boon for Purdue on that side of the ball.

In an email to the West Lafayette Journal & Courier, Ben Holt confirmed that he has decided to transfer from Western Kentucky to Purdue and continue his collegiate playing career with the Boilermakers.  As he is expected to graduate from WKU in May, the linebacker will be eligible to play immediately in 2019 for the Big Ten school.

Holt is the son of Nick Holt, who has spent the past two seasons as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Purdue.  Ben Holt’s head coach his first two seasons with the Hilltoppers was Jeff Brohm, who is entering his third year in the same job with the Boilermakers.

This past season, Holt started all 12 games for the Hilltoppers.  He led the team in tackles with 116, tackles for losses with 11½ and quarterback hurries with nine.  His five pass breakups were good for third on the squad in 2018.

All told, Holt played in 38 games his past three seasons in Bowling Green.

Holt becomes the third former Hilltopper to transfer to the Boilermakers since Brohm came to West Lafayette.  Starting linebacker T.J. McCollum followed the coach in February of 2017, with starting offensive lineman Dennis Edwards following McCollum a year later.

Alabama LB Chris Allen undergoes surgery, per report

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The near-complete revamping of Nick Saban‘s coaching staff wasn’t the only football news coming out of Tuscaloosa late this past week.

According to al.com, outside linebacker Chris Allen underwent what was described as a minor surgical procedure on his knee Thursday.  The specific nature of the injury wasn’t detailed.

Allen, who missed the entire 2018 season after tearing an ACL, is expected to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice, which kicks off next month.

A four-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2017 recruiting class, Allen was rated as the No. 4 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Alabama.  As a true freshman, the Baton Rouge native played in seven games.

As noted by the website, Allen is set to be one of the Tide’s top backup linebackers on the outside this coming season.

Minnesota dismisses TE who allegedly punched cop in the face

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Yeah, that’ll do it.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota tight end Max Janes is facing felony charges after allegedly assaulting a police officer very early in the morning of Feb. 8.  It’s alleged that an intoxicated Janes was in the process of breaking into a post office when police officers responded, with the football player ultimately turning violent and allegedly punching one of the cops in the face.

From the Star Tribune‘s report:

According to the criminal complaint: Officers were dispatched to a welfare check on reports of an individual improperly dressed for the cold weather loitering outside the post office. They located Janes just as he gained unlawful entry into the building’s loading dock. Officers placed Janes in their squad car, but opened the rear door after he informed them that he needed to vomit.

Instead, Janes got out and punched an officer — causing demonstrable bodily harm, the complaint says. He was eventually restrained and booked at Hennepin County jail, where he was charged with fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and obstructing the legal process.

As a result of the off-field incident, Janes was dismissed from the football team.

“We have extremely high standards for members of our team and when those standards are not met there are consequences,” head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. “Law enforcement officers speak to our team and educate them multiple times a year, and we greatly appreciate those who protect and serve us on a daily basis.”

A preferred walk-on, Janes played in 13 games as a true freshman this past season.  The vast majority of his action came on special teams.

Wyoming’s OL coach shuffle continues with hiring of Ohio assistant

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Maybe the third time will be a charm?

Following the end of the 2018 season, Craig Bohl parted ways with his long-time offensive line coach Scott Fuchs and embarked on a search for a replacement. That search ended with Wyoming’s hiring of Klayton Adams; less than a month later, another search for a line coach was launched as Adams took a job as the assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

A little over a week later, and while there’s nothing official yet from the Cowboys, Frank Solich confirmed to the Athens Messenger this past week that Ohio’s offensive line coach, Bart Miller, has taken the same job at Wyoming.

“Our coaches loved working with him, our players loved working with him. We appreciate what he was all about and how he helped our team be what it was last year,” the head coach told the Messenger.

Last season was Miller’s first with the Bobcats. As the newspaper noted, this will mark Miller’s fourth different school in as many years as he was on the coaching staffs at Minnesota and Air Force in 2016 and 2017, respectively.