NCAA

Miami QB D’Eriq King Is an Early Heisman Frontrunner After His Father’s Tragic Death

D’Eriq King might just be the man who is truly bringing the Miami Hurricanes back to relevancy.

There has been talk for years that the Hurricanes, much like Texas, were back. But King, a graduate transfer from Houston, has the Canes looking like a powerhouse once again.

King has quickly placed himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Three games — victories against UAB, Louisville, and a dysfunctional Florida State team — might not be enough to sell college football fans on King and the Hurricanes just yet. 

But if there was ever a time to invest in their stock, now may just be that perfect opportunity.

D’Eriq King is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback

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Officially listed as 5 feet 11 inches and 202 pounds, D’Eriq King has a receivers’ body. King has even acknowledged as much in the past and said he expects to play receiver at the next level. 

The dynamic quarterback has experience there, having caught 58 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns at Houston from 2016-17.

Midway through the 2017 season, Houston named King the starting quarterback, and he ended the year having completed 64.7% of his passes for 1,260 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. 

Then came 2018, King’s breakout year and a season which may have changed the conversations about what position he’ll play in the NFL. King completed 63.5% of his passes for 2,982 yards, 36 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 11 games. 

King also ran for 674 yards and 14 touchdowns. 

When Houston started 1-3 last year, King — who threw six touchdowns and ran for another six in his first four games — took a redshirt and, after the season, transferred to Miami.

King completed 66.7% of his passes in the Hurricanes’ first three games, all wins, for six touchdowns and no interceptions. The graduate transfer also picked up 175 yards and a rushing touchdown on 5.6 yards per attempt.

King’s father died earlier this year

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The 2020 calendar year has been a tough one for D’Eriq King.

King’s father, Eric, passed away from a heart attack in February. D’Eriq was in Miami at the time attending the school’s offseason workouts.

King eulogized his father in a Twitter post the day after Eric’s death.

“You instilled confidence in me. You taught me everything I know about the game you brought the dog out of me when I was 4 years old! You always had my back through anything. …. I promise to make you proud for the rest of my life! I GOT US.”

According to the Miami Herald, King didn’t need long to bring up his family upon joining the Hurricanes. When Miami introduced King to local media on February 5, King said, “I love everybody to death in my family.”

D’Eriq King is an early Heisman Trophy candidate

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The 2020 Heisman Trophy voting is poised to be possibly the strangest in history, especially with how many conferences are starting play in either October or November.

That gives D’Eriq King an advantage if he continues his strong play. As of Oct. 6, 2020, King had the fourth-highest odds (+600) of winning the Heisman Trophy, according to OddsShark.

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence led the pack at +350. Clemson hosts Miami in an ACC matchup on Saturday, October 10.

Florida’s Kyle Trask was second with +400 odds. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, whose team doesn’t begin play until October 24, is fourth at +500.

Betting odds courtesy of OddsShark as of Oct. 6, 2020.