Redskins

RB Miles starting again for No. 12 South Carolina

RB Miles starting again for No. 12 South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Kenny Miles wasn't sure he wanted to spend another season just getting spot duty when South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore needed a breather. Now, all the eyes are again on Miles when the 12th-ranked Gamecocks face Arkansas.

Miles was South Carolina's leading rusher in 2009, but that was the year before Lattimore came to campus and became one of the Southeastern Conference's top rushers.

Miles went through Senior Day festivities last fall as he considered leaving the program after four seasons. Miles stayed, though, and will start Saturday against the Razorbacks (4-5, 2-3 SEC).

``I'm prepared and ready to go,'' said Miles, a fifth-year senior.

It's the first game for South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) since the gruesome knee injury to Lattimore two weeks ago against Tennessee. Lattimore has had surgery and could need more than a year of recovery. He was supposed to be at Williams-Brice Stadium this weekend as the school unveils his name in the building as the team's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (38).

But on Thursday, the school said team physician Dr. Jeffrey Guy, trainer Clint Haggard and Lattimore decided the junior shouldn't attend.

While the fans won't get to cheer for Lattimore, there could be plenty of praise for Miles, who stuck it out after Lattimore surpassed him.

Miles started seven games and rushed for 626 yards as a freshman three years ago. But he'd gained only 356 yards the next two seasons as Lattimore ate up yardage and helped South Carolina to a 20-7 record - the school's best ever two-year mark.

It wasn't easy for Miles to watch, but he liked Lattimore and loved the team's success.

``Of course, you want to be the starting back, but you've got to think what's best for the team at the time that was what was best for the team,'' he said. ``I was happy we were winning and I wasn't really worried about me personally.''

But with his pending graduation last December, Miles thought hard about what was next. He was not the team's first choice when Lattimore injured his left knee last October, freshman Brandon Wilds starting.

Miles ran out onto the field for senior ceremonies against Clemson, not really expecting he'd play a key role with 71 yards rushing in South Carolina's 34-13 victory later that night.

Miles got the start in the Capital One Bowl and had 67 yards in the 30-13 win, then started wondering if he wanted to play one last year - even as Lattimore's backup.

Spurrier remembered Miles asking if he could come back. ``And I said, `Sure, you can come back if you want to,''' he said.

Miles will have to pick his way through an Arkansas defense that's allowed just 125 yards rushing a game, fifth in the SEC. Although the team will be without suspended linebacker Terrell Williams, arrested last weekend for driving while intoxicated.

Arkansas struggled at the start of the season after an offseason of upheaval centered on disgraced ex-coach, Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks have improved the past month, winning three of four. They've won five of the past six games against South Carolina, including the last three.

``We went to South Carolina last time and got a big win. We were here last year and got a big win. So, they know that we're going to come in and battle,'' Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson said. ``We're not laying down against these guys.''

Wilson leads the SEC in passing yards, something the Gamecocks looked particularly vulnerable to in their last outing when Tennessee's Tyler Brad threw for 388 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-35 win.

It took defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's strip sack of Bray to stop the driving Vols from moving in front with less than two minutes left.

The Gamecocks, coming off a bye, have had more than a week to fix what went wrong against Tennessee. Clowney chalked up the poor showing to the loss of Lattimore, a stunningly gruesome injury to a team captain.

``I think a lot of people were down, not even thinking about the game'' after Lattimore's injury, Clowney said. ``I think we're going to be more focused this game.''

Miles plans to take the same approach he always has. Spurrier says Miles' maturity has helped the younger players. Miles stays inside watching horror films and comedies instead of attending parties. He prefers jazz and R&B to rap and he'll often go for a five-mile run after games to clear his head.

``He's a super Gamecock,'' Spurrier said. ``I think our fans and all the Gamecocks appreciate that he decided to stay for five years.''

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Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

The Redskins aren’t in the quarterback business, so it’s highly unlikely that they will look to trade up in the first round of the draft on Thursday. But their phones will be open for business to move down. 

Speaking at the team’s pre-draft press conference, Doug Williams didn’t rule out trading up from the team’s first-round spot at 13thoverall but he doesn’t think it’s likely. 

“The chances of trading up might be a little slimmer than trading down,” he said. 

Williams said that the phones in the room will be ringing and that they will listen to any offers. But usually the team that wants to move up initiates the call and because the Redskins are set at one particular position they probably won’t pick up the phone. 

“If we were in the quarterback business, which is what this league is about, if we were in the heavy quarterback business we’d talk about moving up,” he said. “At this time, we can sit back and see what comes up if we stay at 13.”

The Redskins are set at quarterback after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller for veteran Alex Smith to replace the departed Kirk Cousins. Williams thinks that the Redskins already got good value from the pick. 

“When I think about Alex Smith, I say we got the best third-round pick in the draft,” he said. “I don't care what nobody says. You can't get a better third-round pick.”

Because they think they got a good player, albeit an older one, with that pick, the Redskins are not necessarily looking to make a deal to move back and recoup that pick on draft day. 

Williams emphasized that in order to move back, you have to have a team that wants to trade up. Often that is easier said than done. 

“They don’t just call you to ask you, they have to get a player that they want,” said Williams. “At that particular time, they’re afraid that somebody else might pick him. They might call you to ask you if you want to move back . . . If we move back, that’s because somebody called us to see if we want to move back.”

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Why the Redskins should take a serious look at Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds

Why the Redskins should take a serious look at Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the second episode above and more here.

Many Redskins fans are hoping the team secures a defensive back in the first round by landing a guy like Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick. But if Washington opts to address a different position in Round 1, there'll be a quality safety available in the middle rounds in Terrell Edmunds.

Terrell, the brother of top-10 prospect Tremaine, is projected to be taken in the third or fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. As of now, the Redskins don't have a selection in the former, but a trade could change that. They pick 109th in the latter.

"Terrell possesses high end speed and explosion traits that are coveted for his position," writes NFL.com. "He has man cover talent against big targets and should step right into a role on the coverage units for special teams."

With D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson, Washington's starting safety tandem is taken care of on paper. Nicholson was injured often as a rookie, though, so depth is needed behind him. And their special teams have been leaky for quite some time, providing the Virginia Tech Hokie a place to make an immediate impact while he works his way into the defensive rotation.

It's a rotation he would likely feel at home in, too. Edmunds is more than comfortable talking trash, so if he does become a Redskin, he'd fit right in alongside the likes of the fellow vocal guys like Swearinger, Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar.