A beautiful thing happened as LSU’s coronation tour neared its grand conclusion on Monday night: Breaking news, as D’Eriq King Tweeted, “Just kidding, I’m definitely leaving Houston — probably always was.”
Ok, that’s paraphrasing a bit, but you get it. King announced he was hitting the open market.
I’ve entered the portal I think it’s best for me and my family!— King (@DeriqKing_) January 14, 2020
That, in and of itself wasn’t the beautiful part, unless you’re just a UH fatalist. The beauty was in what followed, as Arkansas was specifically singled out as the potential landing spot on ESPN’s scroll.
The dots are easy to connect if you’re into that sort of thing: King’s 2018 coming out party occurred with Kendal Briles in charge of the Cougars’ offense.
With Briles now in Fayetteville, it’s easy to assume that the quarterback-starved Razorbacks will be front and center for his services. But how likely is it that Arkansas will actually land him?
Where will former Houston QB D'Eriq King play next season as a transfer?— SportsLine (@SportsLine) January 14, 2020
Florida State +800
Michigan State +1500
Via @SportsLine Oddsmakers pic.twitter.com/Gm6pYuCdBZ
First, consider the timing of the tweet, fired off as the LSU band was playing ‘Neck’ and Joey Burrow was requesting his championship ring. Was that just a coincidence? Or was that a result of King falling for Ed Orgeron’s Tigers alongside the rest of country?
LSU has an obvious void at quarterback now and, while everyone in Baton Rouge will tell anyone willing to listen about how much they love Myles Brennan, Oklahoma fans were saying the same things about Austin Kendall a year ago.
King to the bayou makes a ton of sense for all parties involved — particularly assuming Joe Brady returns for another year.
Little side note.— Cane Tapes, i’m him. (@CaneTapes) January 14, 2020
D’Eriq King is watching the game, seeing Burrow and LSU dominate.
Knows Burrow is gone next year.
Decides to announce he’ll be entering the portal during the game. pic.twitter.com/hVRnZHO5D1
And, speaking of the Sooners, Oklahoma has an elite prospect waiting in the wings in former five-star DT-QB Spencer Rattler, but since when has that mattered to Lincoln Riley?
OU replaced Trevor Knight with Baker Mayfield in 2015 and twice brought in transfer quarterbacks — Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts — over the top of Kendall, the fourth-ranked player at his position in the class of 2016.
Should Riley again opt for a transfer over a quarterback already on his roster, it seems likely that Rattler would leave, and it also seems likely that Riley would take a credibility hit in the homes of high school quarterbacks moving forward.
Gary Patterson already upset that D’Eriq King is going to transferring to OU. pic.twitter.com/blzJrOy7j2— CoachRTM (@CoachRTM) January 14, 2020
But if he believes that King is the piece that can get the Sooners past the CFP semifinal barricade they’ve now crashed into four times in five seasons, does he even care?
Beyond LSU and Oklahoma, which is about as formidable as the competition could possibly be, there’s also Miami and Tennessee — plus another half dozen-or-so programs that probably aren’t even worth mentioning.
All that to say that Arkansas fans had better hope that the bond between King and Briles is strong. Because if you thought there was a battle for Kelly Bryant, you’re really in for a show as programs line up for King.