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Houston QB D'Eriq King makes an unprecedented redshirt decision

Houston's D'Eriq King
Houston's D'Eriq King. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Houston senior QB D'Eriq King will not play the remainder of the season so that he can redshirt and preserve his final year of eligibility, the school announced yesterday. Senior WR Keith Corbin will do the same.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented decision that takes advantage of a rule change implemented last year that allows players to take a redshirt after participating in up to 4 games in a season.

  • This change has benefited players (freshmen can get game experience without forfeiting a year) and coaches (can get a look at young players or use them as late-season injury replacements without burning their redshirt).
  • But there's also been an unintended consequence: high-profile upperclassmen transferring to retain a year of eligibility (think Kelly Bryant, who departed Clemson for Missouri).

The intrigue: King's situation is completely different. Unlike Bryant, who transferred after Trevor Lawrence took his job, King is firmly entrenched as Houston's starter and easily the team's best player.

The big picture: It's unclear if King, who set the American Athletic Conference record with 50 TD last season, will return to Houston next season or enter the transfer portal and play his final season elsewhere.

  • If it's the former, it would appear that Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers — recruiting his own players to bail on a disappointing season (currently 1-3) in hopes of doing something special next year.

And if it's the latter, and King is in a different uniform next year? Add him to the growing list of superstar QBs who have transferred in recent years. It's crazy...

  • The last 2 Heisman winners: Baker Mayfield (Texas Tech to Oklahoma) and Kyler Murray (Texas A&M to Oklahoma).
  • 3 of the top 4 Heisman favorites: Joe Burrow (Ohio State to LSU), Jalen Hurts (Alabama to Oklahoma) and Justin Fields (Georgia to Ohio State).

Go deeper ... By the numbers: Week 5 of college football