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Report: Ex-Houston QB D’Eriq King to visit Maryland after Miami trip

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Last year, everybody wanted to know where Jalen Hurts would transfer to. This year? D’Eriq King might take that mantle.

The Houston quarterback entered the NCAA Transfer Portal shortly before the national title game on Monday and is already moving on to lining up visits. One of the first stops on King’s transfer tour? We already know that a trip to Miami to check out the Hurricanes on the docket but that’s not all on a busy weekend. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland is on deck for the signal-caller this Saturday.

The Terps turning to a graduate transfer is nothing new. Head coach Mike Locksley brought in Josh Jackson to mixed success in 2019 after the latter left Virginia Tech. King, however, would represent a much more dynamic option behind center for the team.

King set numerous records with the Cougars and scored 50 touchdowns (36 passing and 14 rushing) in 2018 alone. The prolific numbers also came despite the fact that he missed two games due to a knee injury. While UH had long maintained that King’s surprising redshirt decision this past season was part of a plan that would see him return to the team for 2020, things have played out pretty much as expected in him looking elsewhere.

Whether he lands in College Park remains to be seen but it’s no surprise Locksley is dipping into the market. Tyrrell Pigrome is a senior but isn’t quite up to Big Ten passing standards and depth behind him is limited. That’s always an issue at Maryland given the injury history at the position too.

Landing somebody like King would be quite a coup for the Terps but it’s pretty clear they’ll be just one of several programs in hot pursuit of the Texas native’s services.

College football title odds have Clemson as way-too-early 2020 favorite

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You say the corpse of the 2019 college football season isn’t even cold yet, and we’re already looking ahead to 2020 when it comes to title odds?  We say of course we are.  Because that’s how we roll.  Or something.

Monday night, in New Orleans appropriately enough, LSU landed its magic carpet ride of a 2019 season in seemingly the only way possible, overwhelming Clemson with waves of offensive talent to claim the College Football Playoff championship.  The video game that was Joe Burrow, wobbly early on, righted itself in the romp, with the Heisman Trophy winner setting the single-season record for touchdown passes en route to the ever-elusive ring.

The reality that will set in a day or two from now?  Burrow has played his last down in a Tigers uniform, with the senior expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Burrow’s counterpart on the night, Trevor Lawrence, will return to Clemson for one more season before he’s expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As such, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has installed Clemson as a way-too-early 9/4 favorite to win the 2020 national championship.  LSU, meanwhile, sits at 8/1.

A year ago at this time?  Clemson, the reigning national champions, was at 7/2, behind Alabama at 3/2.  And LSU?  They were at 50/1 on Jan. 8, 2019.

This year, between Clemson and LSU, Ohio State comes in at an initial 3/1 and Alabama, which will be replacing Tua Tagovailoa, at 6/1.  Georgia’s odds are at 8/1 as well.

Of those five teams, just two — Clemson (Lawrence) and Ohio State (Justin Fields) — will return their starting quarterback.

At 14/1, Florida is the only other team in that neighborhood.  Six others start off at 30/1 — Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M.

And as for the Group of Five? At 1,000/1, Houston has the highest odds.

D’Eriq King tweets intent to move on from Houston by entering transfer portal

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For D’Eriq King and Houston, this seemed to be the only inevitable ending.

In September, King announced that he had decided to voluntarily sideline himself for the remainder of the 2019 season and take a redshirt.  One day later, the quarterback indicated he was staying with the Cougars.  When November rolled around, however, it was reported that there was little chance D’Eriq King would return to Houston.

Monday night, in a simple statement posted to Twitter, King confirmed he’s on his way out.

“I’ve entered the portal I think it’s best for me and my family.”

King immediately becomes one of the hottest targets on the free-agent market.  As a graduate transfer, he would be eligible to play immediately in 2020.

His last full season with the Cougars, King passed for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns.  The then-redshirt sophomore threw just six interceptions in 345 attempts in 2018.  He also ran for 674 yards that year and added another 14 touchdowns on the ground.

That season, King became just the third quarterback in FBS history with at least 35 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing in a single campaign.

In September of 2019, prior to his decision to sit out the rest of the season, King broke Tim Tebow‘s record by scoring a rushing and passing touchdown in 15 straight games.

Houston will vacate three 2018 wins over academic misconduct

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Houston football, you had a problem and must vacate wins.

In the midst of the Early Signing Period Wednesday, the NCAA Committee on Infractions announced its decision on a case involving the University of Houston and academic misconduct.  According to the COI, a UH athletics department tutor “wrote four papers for two football student-athletes in exchange for money over a month and a half” in 2018. The amount of money collected by the tutor, who was slapped with an eight-year show-cause? In the neighborhood of $200.

Because of that academic misconduct, one of the football players — neither were identified by name — played in games while ineligible.  And because that player participated in games while ineligible, NCAA bylaws state that UH must vacate any wins in which the offender played.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the UH football program will vacate three wins from that season. That will officially drop the Cougars’ record that season from 8-5 to 5-8.  Major Applewhite, in his last as head coach during the season in question, will see his career record at the school fall to 12-14.

The Chronicle also reported that the two players involved in the academic misconduct served a suspension in 2019.

Jordan Moore, a transfer from Texas A&M, was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season because of “a potential university policy violation.” The defensive back was reinstated and played in Week 3.  It’s unclear if that suspension is related to the NCAA issue.

In addition to the vacating of wins, UH also self-imposed a $5,000 fine.  The NCAA slapped the university with a one-year period of probation as well.

Below is a statement on the COI’s release, attributed to UH athletic director Chris Pezman:

Today’s report is the result of a cooperative investigation by the NCAA’s enforcement staff and the University of Houston. The NCAA Level II Mitigated violations that occurred with Houston’s football and volleyball programs were self-disclosed to UH officials, who followed internal protocols and worked thoroughly with the NCAA throughout this process.

As the report states, the violations occurred while the University of Houston exercised institutional control and monitored its athletics programs. It also indicates that UH accepted the responsibility of the violations and self-imposed significant measures and penalties as corrective action. UH also worked diligently to provide the NCAA enforcement staff with various resources and assistance to make sure this matter was brought to a resolution as quickly as possible.

Amid transfer rumors, QB Jordan Love announces he’s leaving Utah State early for NFL

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So much for that.

Monday, a report surfaced that, if he opted to forego entering the 2020 NFL Draft early, Jordan Love was considering taking a graduate transfer from Utah State.  Specifically, The Home for Wayward Transfer Quarterbacks, Oklahoma, was mentioned as a potential destination; Houston and Texas Tech were considered options as well.

Tuesday evening, Love made all of the transfer discussion a moot point as the junior announced via Twitter that he will indeed become a part of next year’s NFL draft pool.

The 6-4, 225-pound Love passed for more than 3,000 yards each of the past two seasons, throwing 49 touchdowns versus 22 interceptions in that span.  He rushed for seven touchdowns a season ago as well, although he was held without one on the ground this season.

Some view Love as a likely first-round draft pick, which will obviously influence his decision.  In four career games against Power Five opponents, Love went 83-of-135 for 1,036 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions.  This season against LSU, he completed half of his 30 pass attempts in a loss to LSU, throwing for just 130 yards and three interceptions.

“Jordan and his family have been tremendous throughout this process, and he is making this announcement now so it’s not a distraction to the team and his teammates leading up to the bowl game,” said Utah State head football coach Gary Andersen in a statement. “Jordan has been a great student-athlete and is a tremendous teammate, and we are excited for his future in the NFL. Go Aggies!”