The quarterback transfer carousel continued to spin on Wednesday afternoon and, you get the feeling that the Miami Hurricanes knew they were out of the sweepstakes for Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.
That’s becasue Hurts, a graduate transfer, made it official that he will be leaving Tuscaloosa for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Big XII to play in 2019:
As we wrote earlier in the week, Oklahoma has availability at the signal-caller position because Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray declared early for the NFL Draft by the Monday deadline.
Hurts had only been flirting with OU, but also the University of Maryland, where Alabama’s offensive coordinator Mike Locksley went and took the head coaching job. And, he was also being courted by Miami and new coach Manny Diaz.
Diaz hired Alabama’s quarterback coach Dan Enos, as his offensive coordinator last week. Hurts met with Diaz and Enos extensively on Sunday in Coral Gables. However, he obviously opted to go play for Lincoln Riley in an Oklahoma system that has produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners.
That includes 2017 Award winner and number one overall pick of the Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield.
As we wrote earlier on Wednesday, Miami was proactive in the transfer game and is taking QB Tate Martell from Ohio State. Martell is leaving after having barely played his two years in Columbus. He is a former five-star High School star and record-breaking quarterback from famed Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. However, Martell will have to sit out the 2019 season, as he unlike Hurts, has not graduated. Therefore, he will have to abide by the NCAA transfer rules and have two years of eligibility still remaining.
Hurts is the former starting quarterback for 2016-17 at Alabama, where he led the tie to a national championship runner-up finish in 2016. However, he was then famously benched in the second half of the 2017 National Championship game with Georgia. Freshman Tua Tagovailoa took over and led Alabama to the overtime win.
Tide coach Nick Saban chose to go with Tagovailoak as his 2018 starter in September and Hurts only played sparingly throughout the regular season. He did come in to play in the second half of the SEC Title Game rematch with Georgia and led the Tide to the victory and the College Football Playoff.
However, once healthy a month later, Tagovailoa took back over for Alabama’s Orange Bowl win over Murray and Oklahoma, but then Clemson defeated Bama for the National Championship the next week.
It was obvious at the end of the season that Hurts was going to not only graduate, but look to try to play somewhere else in 2019.
And, that somewhere else is with the Oklahoma Sooners, not the Miami Hurricanes.
Not so fast on QB D’Eriq King coming to Hurricanes?
24 hours later it doesn’t look dead certain that Houston transfer quarterback D’Eriq King will end up at the University of Miami after all.
In fact, it may be several days before we know the coveted grad transfer QB decides to do.
This after a report Sunday out of Houston from Fox 26 Sports director Mark Berman ,who got comments from King about his short term plans and visits:
D’Eriq King (@DeriqKing_), who is transferring from @UHCougarFB, says he has yet to make a final decision on where he’s going: “I haven’t committed to anybody yet. I’m still looking at my options. I visited Miami. I liked it, but there are other options I’m still trying see to..” pic.twitter.com/E4kz2xypWR
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 19, 2020
It is interesting that King is considering Maryland in the mix in addition to powerhouse LSU and possibly trying to revitalize Miami.
As our Jamil King wrote on Sunday it looked like the Houston standout quarterback was “e-ticketed” for Coral Gables and to come as a package deal with newly hired offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee, who has previously been at Auburn and the SMU offensive coordinator the last couple of seasons, was hired two weeks ago to help jump start the Canes disastrous offense from the second half of last year.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games, but was also inconsistent in his own right. Miami suffered humiliating losses to FIU and at Duke to close the regular season.
Then, the Hurricanes were completely inept in the Independence Bowl, while being shut out 14-0. This, while rumors were swirling everywhere that coach Manny Diaz would be firing his first year offensive coordinator, Dan Enos. Enos, who had been the QB coach at Alabama, was fired the next day.
Back to King, if the Hurricanes are able to land him, they get a player who over his career at the University of Houston threw for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. He promises to bring some explosives, something the Canes desperately needed, if they can land him.
Hurricanes land Houston QB transfer King
Miami Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz found out very quickly that the life if a head coach isn’t an easy one. He saw his Miami Hurricane offense move nothing like a “Hurricane” at all.
Instead of fast and lethal, it was often slow and stagnant.
Thus, Diaz had to go in a different direction for his offense replacing his first-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos, and he made what looks to be like a strong hire in Rhett Lashlee, bringing his spread offense over from SMU.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games but was also inconsistent in his own right.\
With New OC Lashlee coming in, it was going to be interesting if either Williams or Perry could run the new system or if seldom used 2019 transfer Tate Martell may be the best fit?
All of those questions may be answered for us already with news coming out today on a new Miami quarterback entering the fold. Houston transfer D’Eriq King has decided to play for the Canes in 2020.
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 19, 2020
King is an immediate upgrade in the QB room for a few different reasons for the Hurricanes in 2020. First, over his career at the University of Houston (above), King has thrown for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. The young man can flat out play ball, something the Canes desperately needed.
King is also going to be a leader in the locker room and the quarterback room. He is an older guy and will be someone everyone can look up to and listen to another coach on the field. King also brings the most to this offense.
He has the ability to make deep throws to the far side or hit a man in stride. He also brings the running ability to the offense that opens up a Pandora’s box for Lashlee. He can use the QB designed run, an option here and there, and lots of RPOs.
The addition of King is certainly an exciting one, and once again, for the second offseason in a row, there is new optimism on the offense in Coral Gables.
The question is this time will the excitement last longer into the season, and will it produce?
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