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Kansas Jayhawks co-defensive coordinator Jordan Peterson is departing KU for a senior defensive assistant coaching position at Texas A&M, Football Scoop reported Saturday.
Peterson was KU’s defensive backs coach until November, when he was elevated to the role of co-defensive coordinator. He’s been sharing the role with defensive coordinator Brian Borland.
This would be the second time in a month that new Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko has plucked a key member of a Sunflower State football program. In December, Elko — hired away from Duke in late November — tapped K-State offensive coordinator and KSU Heisman finalist Collin Klein for the same role in College Station, Texas.
The departure of Peterson would be a significant one for Kansas. KU had four All-Big 12 selections, including two-time All-Big 12 first team selection Cobee Bryant, under Peterson’s guidance. Bryant is just the second cornerback in school history to be named first-team all-conference twice.
Bryant and fellow corner Mello Dotson, an All-Big 12 honorable mention, combined for seven interceptions this past season — most by a Kansas duo since 2007.
The biggest loss here might be felt in recruiting. According to 247Sports, Peterson ranks as the No. 45-rated recruiter nationally in 2024 — and he’s the No. 1-ranked recruiter in the new-look Big 12.
He was pivotal in helping KU land multiple recruits in the 2024 class. One of the biggest was four-star defensive end Deshawn Warner. Warner chose the Jayhawks over Ohio State, Michigan, Washington and other schools.
Naturally, the reported departure of Peterson to the Aggies has led to mixed reactions from Jayhawks players.
Minutes after the report, Bryant tweeted, ”bet 100 emoji.” He’d later reply to a tweet calling Peterson a snake, saying “ongod 100 emoji.”
— Cobee (@cobeebryant2) January 20, 2024
Safety Kenny Logan Jr. tweeted a facepalm emoji. Warner replied to Logan’s tweet with a broken heart emoji.
For Peterson, the change in schools would represent a homecoming. Not only did he grow up in Lexington, Texas, not far from College Station, he played football at A&M and began his coaching career there as a graduate assistant in 2010-11.
He then spent five years at Fresno State, three years at New Mexico and, finally, the last four at Kansas.