D'Eriq King to leave UH...possibly
*Editor's note: King now plans to redshirt this season and return to UH in 2020, per Joseph Duarte.
In a complete shocker, University of Houston record-breaking quarterback D'Eriq King is set to redshirt the remainder of the year and transfer from the program. Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte first broke the news of King sitting out the remainder of the year via redshirt. Then Fox 26's Mark Berman confirmed with King's father that his son would indeed be transferring to another school in order to play his redshirt senior season. However, his father said his decision won't be final until this evening, possibly after 5pm because he hasn't talked to Coach Dana Holgorsen. With the Cougars starting the season 1-3, it's totally understandable why King is not wanting to waste his last year of eligibility. What are some other factors we should consider surrounding King's decision?
A 1-3 start isn't ideal. The prospects of King being able to salvage anything from this season in order to show enough good tape to get drafted are very low. The team is still getting acclimated to Holgorsen's system. Even though it has spread looks, it's more run-based at a slower tempo than what the Coogs have been used to over the last 10 plus years or so.
With Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray going back to back in winning the Heisman and getting drafted number one overall, King has an outside shot to get drafted pretty high if he shows the same sort of skill. Smaller and/or more athletic quarterbacks have slowly but surely shot down the stigma that they can't play at the next level. The NFL is a copycat league. Everyone will be looking for the next Mayfield, Murray, or Lamar Jackson and King could be it.
Time and opportunity
With the NCAA Transfer Portal giving guys the chance to seek playing time and opportunities in a situation more favorable to them, King is simply taking advantage of the system. It's about damn time the "student-athletes" have a way to take advantage of a system that has long taken advantage of them. What if Jalen Hurts does what his OU predecessors did by winning a Heisman and getting drafted number one overall? Would King want to follow in their footsteps? He'd be a fool not to. Lincoln Riley has already been dubbed the QB whisperer with how he helped Mayfield and Murray. He's on pace to do the same, or similar, with Hurts. King could be the next man up in Riley's QB transfer to NFL pipeline.
All things considered, this is what's best for all parties involved. The Coogs are in for a tough season, and King wants to take full advantage of his last year to maximize his NFL potential. Holgorsen gets to recruit other transfers and true freshmen at the position that'll be given the chance to come in and compete with guys currently on the roster. What if the next man up on the roster now that King is out proves to be a revelation? Chances are pretty slim of that happening, but you never know. Now Holgorsen gets to look at his team and see what all the needs are going into the offseason and recruit to fill them with his type of guys. Let's hope it works out for all those involved.