Hand it to the Coogs, for a 1-3 squad; they make headlines. Yesterday the news came out that quarterback D’Eriq King and receiver Keith Corbin both exercising what is now their right to take a redshirt for the remainder of 2019 and “come back” for 2020. Congratulations coaches, you wanted a four-game redshirt tryout, well, now you’ve got it.
Other players have used the new redshirt rule to transfer after a demotion, Clemson’s Kelly Bryant comes to mind, but King’s move is unprecedented as a starter to sit for a season. Expect the strategy to start a trend. Players now able to dictate terms, can test the waters of a season or even a program, and sit after four games.
Good on King, whether it’s good for football and good for whatever we’re trying to teach young people is an interesting question. But these are questions that the transfer portal and the portability of coaches have forced on the game. Coaches trade out zip codes more frequently than ever, seems to reason that players should as well.
Does that mean bailing on your teammates? Remember, there are players at Houston who won’t get the chance to sit out whatever dumpster fire is coming down the pipe in 2019. Expect more freshman to start thinking similarly to King, perhaps not wanting to waste their talents on what they perceive as a losing proposition. Some players love to be loved, so recruiting is a destination location. Tate Martel, I’m looking at you.
That doesn’t appear to be King’s intention. His move seems to have more to do with Houston’s broken offense, struggling defense, and a legacy that might include missing a bowl game. It’s an eye-catching move for a player thought to be a Heisman darkhorse. And while King and Corbin both assured Coog fans that they’d be back in 2020, why should they? Test the waters; see if another program gives them a better fit. Take a few visits, it’s no big deal, right?
That’s undoubtedly the world all the rule changes created. Might as well explore it.