SAN ANTONIO — Whenever Judson returns to the football field for summer workouts, the Rockets are going to be without two defensive players who started in the secondary as sophomores last year.
Safeties Alan Caracheo and Myzel Miller, who are expected to be two of the top juniors in Greater San Antonio this season, confirmed Thursday that they’re transferring to Cornerstone Christian.
Caracheo and Miller will join another former Judson player, highly touted quarterback Lucas Coley, who played for the Rockets as a sophomore and transferred to Cornerstone before his junior season last year.
Coley is being heavily recruited and already has 33 scholarship offers from Division I schools, including Arkansas, Houston, Washington State and Virginia Tech.
“Lucas had been trying to get me to go to Cornerstone since last season,” Miller said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know. I think I’m going to stay at Judson.’ But he kept on me. I gave it some thought, and by the end of last season, I was thinking of actually going to Cornerstone. I’m very excited because it’s different than a public school."
The transfers of Caracheo and Miller are sure to spark discussion about Cornerstone’s ouster from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools two years ago for recruiting athletes, a violation of TAPPS rules.
Cornerstone has been kicked out of TAPPS three times since the 1990s for rules violations. The first two times involved the basketball program.
The Warriors have competed as an independent in football the past two seasons, playing a schedule that includes out-of-state opponents.
“I want to play teams that are from other places, like Louisiana,” Miller said. “I know they’re trying to get us more games with out-of-state teams. That’s how you make connections.”
Miller and Caracheo both said they are transferring to Cornerstone because they believe they have a better chance of landing a football scholarship and getting more individual instruction in the classroom.
“Their classes are a lot smaller than at Judson, so teachers can spend more time with each student,” Miller said. “That’s what I like. They have a good football program and I like that, too.”
Both players said they will receive financial aid to attend the private school.
“I’m pretty sure they’re going to scholarship me,” Caracheo said. “That’s what they’re talking about.”
Caracheo said he thinks he will improve on the field and in the classroom at Cornerstone.
“I just like the opportunities that Cornerstone can bring to me,” Caracheo said. “It will open more doors for me. That’s why I decided to transfer. I talked to my parents about it and they’re for it. I like the academic part, too. My mom was really big on the education part. That’s why she was really for it. It’s a good school. I like the coaches, too... No school can guarantee you a college scholarship. It’s not like you’re automatically going to get one. You’ve got to work and make plays on the field. The coaches will help you get a scholarship, but you’ve got to put in the work.”
Miller and Caracheo said they both have told Judson head coach Rodney Williams that they’re transferring.
“He was respectful,” Miller said. “He said that if I ever need him for anything, just call him. He was pretty cool about it. I respect him.”
Williams confirmed Caracheo and Miller are transferring, but declined to comment further. Cornerstone coach John Bachman could not be reached for comment.
While the Rockets’ defense is taking a hit with losing two starting safeties, the offense got a boost in February when Brandeis quarterback Jordan Battles transferred to Judson. One of the best dual threats in the area, Battles has started for Brandeis the past two seasons.
Caracheo and Miller have been teammates since they were 8-year-olds playing youth football.
“We’ve been like brothers,” Caracheo said.
Both players said that Clayton Guillory, their 7-on-7 coach, was a major influence in their decisions to transfer to Cornerstone. Guillory’s son, Esteban, will be a junior safety for the Warriors this season.
“Coach Guillory told me about Cornerstone and said he had talked to Coach Bachman,” Caracheo said. “He showed the Cornerstone coaches my (game) film and they liked it. That’s how it all started.”
Caracheo said his phone has been “blowing up” since word got out that he’s transferring.
“People might think that I left without caring,” Caracheo said. “At the end of the day, I’m doing this for me and my future. But don’t get me wrong. I care about my brothers at Judson a lot. I told them, ‘I’m sorry for leaving,’ but I had to take this opportunity... I know that there are some Judson people hating on me, but I’m not going to entertain that hate.
"I know who my real friends are. My phone has been blowing up, but I’ve got a lot of people who are really supporting me and respect my decision. There really hasn’t been that much negativity.”
Miller said he will continue to root for Judson and plans to attend games whenever he can.
“I’m going to keep being a Judson fan for sure,” Miller said. “I still have good friends on the team.”