The infamous transfer portal has a new name entered into the database as another week begins. This time it is Texas A&M fullback Ben Miles, who just so happens to be the son of Kansas head coach Les Miles. News of the latest addition to the transfer portal came via Cole Cubelic on Twitter.
The younger Miles is no stranger to the transfer process. It was just a little over a year ago Miles transferred to Texas A&M after starting his college football career in the Big Ten with Nebraska. Miles sat out the 2017 season as a redshirt player with the Huskers. Miles was not able to appear in any games for the Aggies last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The good news is Miles won’t have to sit out another full season before being eligible to play this fall if he lands at another FBS program because he has already sat out a season following his previous transfer.
So, if we connect the dots, it would seem like an obvious move to see Miles join his father in Lawrence, Kansas as the Jayhawks begin the Les Miles era. There is nothing out there suggesting that will be the move for Ben Miles yet, however.
Entering the transfer portal doesn’t mean Ben Miles won’t stay at Texas A&M. A player is free to withdraw his name from the portal at his leisure.
Kansas running back Pooka Williams will play for the Jayhawks this season. In a statement released today, Kansas confirmed Williams has been reinstated by new head coach Les Miles. Williams will serve a one-game suspension, which will be served during the season opener against Indiana State. Williams agreed to a diversion agreement in March over an alleged domestic violence incident.
Williams was suspended by Kansas in December 2018 following an arrest related to suspicion of domestic battery. An arrest affidavit reported the alleged victim accused Williams of grabbing her by the throat and punching her in the stomach.
“My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices,” Williams stated in a released statement distributed by Kansas on Monday. “I am disappointed in myself, not just as a man, but as a student-athlete looked up to by younger kids. My suspension from football has been hard, but I have learned from it. I’m thankful I can continue with my education at KU. Looking ahead, the most important thing to me is to regain the trust and respect of my classmates, teammates, and fans. I am humbled to return to football and to prepare for the season.”
As part of his diversion agreement in March, Williams agreed to 40 hours of community service, going through an anger management course, and avoid alcohol and recreational drugs for 12 months. While he continues to fulfill those obligations, Williams will also be subject to guidelines mandated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards on campus. According to a Lawrence Journal-World report, those requirements include being placed on probation for the remainder of his time at Kansas, regular meetings with a university conduct officer, an additional 40 hours of community service, and completion of a sexual violence accountability course through the university.
Williams rushed for 1,125 yards as a freshman for Kansas in 2018. He was named the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
Kansas head coach Les Miles has put a couple more pieces of his staff together with the addition to two new analysts and a director of video operations. Joining the Jayhawk football staff are Jay Niemann as a defensive analyst, Christopher Woods as an analyst, and Alex Knisely as Director of Video Operations.
Niemann spent the past three seasons as a defensive coordinator for Rutgers, and he brings plenty of coaching experience with him to Kansas. Prior to his stint at Rutgers in the Big Ten, Niemann coached the defense at Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa Hardin-Simmons University in Texas, and Drake. He certainly has some familiarity with the landscape of the Big 12, as he played football for Iowa State from 1979-1982.
Woods previously was the defensive coordinator at Columbia, a position he held since 2011. He has also made coaching stops at Bryant University, Harvard, Stonehill College and Mansfield, where he won PSAC Coach of the Year and was named the AFCA Region II coach of the year in 2003, before the university shut the football program down in 2006.
Analysts do not hold any coaching roles on the staff that have any direct coaching of players. Instead, they break down film and help prepare game plans and offer their insight in any way they can.
Kniseley comes to Kansas from Northwestern, where he spent the previous two seasons as an assistant director of video operations.
Kansas has officially announced the hiring of Les Miles as its next head football coach. Kansas will formally introduce Miles as the next head coach at a press conference later today.
Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long shared the news on his Twitter account, in addition to the released statement published on the team’s website.
“Since the beginning of our search, we focused on identifying and recruiting an experienced head coach with a strong track record of success on and off the field,” Long said in a released statement. “Les Miles is exactly what we need for our program right now. His national reputation as a great recruiter and as a coach who student-athletes love playing for will enable us to break the cycle and return a winning tradition to the Kansas Jayhawks. We are thrilled to have Les and his family as Jayhawks.”
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the KU football program and I am grateful to Chancellor Girod and Jeff Long for the opportunity,” said Miles. “We will bring Jayhawk Football back and we will do it with outstanding coaches, tremendous student-athletes of character and ability and an unrelenting drive for excellence. My family and I cannot wait to be a part of the KU family!”
Miles has not coached since being let go by LSU in the middle of the 2016 season, but he has never been shy about still having an interest in continuing to coach. Miles brings a career record of 142-55 with one national championship to his name. As boasted by Kansas, the Jayhawks are now the only Division 1 school with a national championship head coach in football and men’s basketball. Miles won a national title with LSU in 2007 and Kansas basketball coach Bill Self won a national title in 2008 with the program.
Prior to coaching at LSU beginning in 2005, Miles coached at Oklahoma State in the Big 12 from 2001 through 2004. Miles was 28-21 in his time at Oklahoma State.
UPDATE: According to Brett McMurphy, via Twitter, Miles signed a five-year contract valued at $2.775 million per year.
Former Nebraska fullback Ben Miles has announced where he is heading next. Miles, the son of former LSU head coach Les Miles, announced via Twitter he is transferring to Texas A&M.
Miles sat out the 2017 season as a redshirt, but he will still have to sit out a year of college football before he can take the field with Texas A&M due to NCAA transfer rules. But that doesn’t mean he can’t start getting himself acclimated to his new surroundings in College Station, Texas.
It is worth noting there is some history between Les Miles and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher was an offensive coordinator at LSU working under Miles in 2005 and 2006 (Fisher had previously been the offensive coordinator at LSU under Nick Saban). Fisher left LSU to become the offensive coordinator at Florida State under Bobby Bowden, where he eventually succeeded Bowden to become the head coach of the Seminoles from 2010 through 2017.