This is something you don’t see very often. At all.
Heading into summer camp, Jayden Daniels was seemingly the favorite to land Arizona State’s starting quarterback job. Overnight, head coach Herm Edwards confirmed that Daniels has won the competition over a handful of (mostly) youthful contenders and earned the starting job.
If Daniels is under center when ASU kicks off 2019 against Kent State Aug. 29, it will mark the first time in school history that a true freshman has begun a season as the starting quarterback.
But wait, there’s more.
In addition to naming Daniels, Edwards also confirmed that Joey Yellen will be Daniels’ primary backup. Like Daniels, Yellen is a true freshman. It’s believed that this is the second time an FBS school has gone into a season with true freshman Nos. 1 and 2 on the depth chart, the first* being Texas Tech in 2013 with future Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb.
Yet another true freshman, Ethan Long, was in the mix as well, as was redshirt junior Dillon Sterling-Cole. With a mere 57 — 55 of which came in 2017, incidentally — Sterling-Cole is the only quarterback on ASU’s roster to attempt a pass at the collegiate level.
The only other quarterback listed on the roster is Trenton Bourguet… who is also a true freshman.
Daniels, ASU’s top recruit this past cycle, and Yellen were four-star 2019 signees, with the former rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the latter the No. 2 pro-style quarterback. Long was a three-star prospect in this year’s class, with all three of the freshmen enrolling in January to get a head start on the competition.
(*Thanks to our Twitter follower @HughesCas for reminding the reminder!)
After being left at the altar by a Michigan State assistant coach, Indiana had found a way to plug its hole at defensive line coach. Kevin Peoples is reportedly leaving Tulane to join the Hoosiers, multiple reports said on Monday. News of the coaching hire in Bloomington was first shared by Football Scoop.
Peoples will be taking on the job on the Indiana coaching staff previously set to be filled by Michigan State assistant Ron Burton. Burton decided to remain in East Lansing with the Spartans and new head coach Mel Tucker over the weekend before officially making his way from one Big Ten school to another. With the addition of Peoples to the coaching staff, the Hoosiers will now have a full coaching staff barring any potential adjustments before spring football begins.
With Peoples in charge of the defensive line, Tulane was not among the conference leaders in sacks and tackles for loss in the American Athletic Conference in 2019, but Tulane did have the conference’s fourth-best rushing defense; Tulane allowed 156.31 rushing yards per game in 2019, an averages that is inflated slightly from playing Navy in conference play (allowed 385 yards to the triple-option Midshipmen) and Army in non-conference play as well as a road game against Auburn. Tulane allowed just 58 rushing yards in its bowl victory over Southern Mississippi.
Peoples is filling the role previously held by Mark Hagen. Hagen left Indiana to accept a coaching position with Texas this offs
The SEC and Pac-12 are in a bit of a love affair right now. Actually, scratch that. They’re full-on obsessed with one another.
More than 30 SEC v. Pac-12 games are on the docket for future years, and two more were added to the ledger on Monday when LSU and Utah inked a home-and-home.
Utah will host LSU on Sept. 6, 2031, and LSU will return the favor on Sept. 11, 2032.
“Our aspirations to continue to grow and elevate our football program make opportunities like this especially important,” Utah AD Mark Harlan said. “For our student-athletes it is an incredible opportunity to play a high-profile opponent in two fantastic environments. It also is incredibly attractive to our fans to host a team like LSU at Rice-Eccles Stadium and to go on the road to Baton Rouge and cheer on their Utes.”
Utah has two more home-and-homes against SEC schools coming, against Florida in 2022-23 and Arkansas in 2026 and ’28. LSU has home-and-homes with UCLA (2021, ’24) and Arizona State (2029-30) on its docket.
The schools have met twice previously, with LSU winning in Baton Rouge both time, 35-10 in 1974 and 35-7 in ’76.
Bret Bielema is interviewing for the Colorado head coaching position, according to reports Monday from NFL Network and ESPN.
Bielema tried to get in on the Michigan State job that, obviously, went to Mel Tucker, so now he’s in the running for the job Tucker left.
The former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach joined Bill Belichick‘s witness protection program after his 2017 Arkansas firing, working for a year as “consultant to the head coach” in New England. He was promoted to defensive line coach and reportedly told friends he was in the running to become the defensive coordinator after Greg Schiano stepped down, but Belichick wound up giving that job to himself.
He wound up following Joe Judge from Foxboro to the New York Giants, but now has apparently decided he’d rather be back in college than work as a position coach at the NFL level.
Bielema went 68-24 at Wisconsin before his 29-34 flameout at Arkansas. His teams famously stuck to a ground-and-pound philosophy that worked like peanut butter and jelly in Madison but peanut butter and salsa in Fayetteville. So, should Colorado be as interested in Bielema as he apparently is in them, his offensive philosophy would figure to be question one in the interview.
Mel Tucker secured his first signee over the weekend, which is impressive since he didn’t take the job until after the 2020 signing periods.
Jordon Simmons, a 3-star running back from Powder Springs, Ga., committed to Michigan State back in October but did not sign in the early period or the late period.
After Mark Dantonio‘s retirement the night before the February signing period, Simmons announced he would not sign with the Spartans the following day.
“Due to the unforeseen retirement of Coach Dantonio and after discussing things with my family, I have decided to delay my signing with Michigan State University until further notice,” he tweeted the night of Dantonio’s announcement. “I love everything that Michigan State has to offer and I appreciate the love and support that the fan base has shown me. However, with the uncertainty of the MSU program I have decided to take some time to weight out my options and think about where I will spend the next 4 years.”
After taking a couple weeks to consider his options and get to know his new head coach, Simmons inked with the Spartans once and for all.
The Simmons saga shows that, should players obtain a free release to play elsewhere if their head coach leaves in between the time they sign scholarship papers and their freshman seasons, most of those players would still wind up at their original school simply because they’d be out of options elsewhere.