Update: Sept. 23 - 5:45 p.m.
Houston quarterback D’Eriq King said in a statement released through UH Athletics that he plans to take a redshirt for the 2019 season and return to the field for the Cougars in 2020. Earlier Monday, King’s father said D’Eriq would transfer.
“I came here to play football for the University of Houston and that is not changing,” King’s statement said. “After carefully thinking through this process with my family and Coach Holgorsen, I have decided the opportunity to redshirt this season gives me the best chance to develop as a player, earn my degree and set me up for the best success in the future. I’m looking forward to being a part of the success of this program going forward.”
In addition to King, wide receiver Keith Corbin will follow the same path. Corbin, who has 67 catches for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career, is also a true senior and can return in 2020 if he redshirts the 2019 season.
“Having the opportunity to take time and focus on the completion of my degree, plus having the chance to develop as a student-athlete is why I have decided to redshirt for the remainder of the 2019 season,” Corbin said in a statement. “Coach Holgorsen, myself and my family both took the time to make this decision. Being a Cougar has been one of the best decisions I have made, and I’m ready to take this time to help our program develop for the future.”
Both players, of course, could still decide to transfer after they graduate and be eligible at another school in 2020.
While King sits out, sophomore Clayton Tune will likely take over at QB for Houston.
Original story: Sept. 23 - 3:12 p.m.
Is Houston quarterback D’Eriq King following the Kelly Bryant model?
According to the Houston Chronicle and Fox 26, King, a senior quarterback at Houston, is mulling sitting out the rest of the season. Since he has played only four games in 2019, that would allow King to take a redshirt and preserve another year of eligibility, presumably to play at another school in 2020.
King’s father told Fox 26 that D’Eriq will indeed leave UH, but D’Eriq said that the decision is not finalized. He could take a redshirt and remain with the Cougars.
"You have to do what's in your best interest,” Eric King told Fox 26. “As a family, me, D'Eriq and his mom, we decided that's the best thing for him to do right now.”
Eric King, father of QB D'Eriq King, confirms his son is leaving @UHCougarFB & transfer: "It's the best decision for him at this point. Very, very tough (decision). He's got a lot of teammates riding on him. Sometimes you got to be a little self-centered & do what's best for u"— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 23, 2019
While his father says he's leaving @UHCougarFB, QB D'Eriq King says his decision is not final: "I've got to go talk to Coach Holgorsen. It's not just me redshirting. It's a bunch of other guys as well." (Asked when he'll make a final decision) "Today, after 5. It's not final." pic.twitter.com/Z6rrcpJE67— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 23, 2019
A similar path was followed last season by Bryant at Clemson, but only after he fell behind Trevor Lawrence on the depth chart. That then allowed Bryant to transfer to Missouri, where he is currently the starter as a fifth-year senior.
But King is not a backup. He is a third-year starter at quarterback for the Cougars who set an FBS record on Thursday by throwing for a touchdown and rushing for a touchdown for the 15th-straight game. Now he has apparently played his last game at UH.
The Cougars are in their first year with Dana Holgorsen as head coach. Holgorsen is King’s third head coach in four years at UH after Tom Herman left for Texas and Major Applewhite was fired following a two-year stint.
UH dropped to 1-3 with a last-second loss at Tulane on Thursday.
One of the top dual-threat QBs in college football
King has been one of college football’s most exciting players in recent years. He started UH career as a receiver before emerging as the team’s best option at quarterback late in the 2017 season.
In 2018, King threw for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 674 yards and 14 more scores. King rebounded from a knee injury late in 2018 and was ready to go in Week 1 this year. After Thursday night’s game, King has 663 passing yards, 312 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns.
Last year, the NCAA changed its redshirt rules to allow a player to participate in as many as four games and still take a redshirt. The rule was instituted to allow freshmen to see some game action while still preserving a year of eligibility, but several upperclassmen have applied the rule in another way.
If King does indeed decide to take a redshirt, he should have no shortage of suitors ahead of the 2020 season.
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