Manny Diaz says D’Eriq King is a leader Miami football team can trust

ANNAPOLIS, MD - OCTOBER 20: (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - OCTOBER 20: (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

One of the problems on the 2019 Miami football team was a lack of leadership, specifically at quarterback. The addition of Houston graduate transfer D’Eriq King is a big boost to the Hurricanes leadership, especially in the QB room.

The Miami football team was extremely young in 2019, specifically at the critical position of quarterback. Jarren Williams played well at times last season but was not enough of a leader on and off the field for the Hurricanes. That caused head coach Manny Diaz to pursue a transfer QB for the second year in a row.

Tate Martell was a marquee name in the transfer portal for the Miami football team in 2019. Martell did not work out. Redshirt Williams and redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry beat out Martell on the Hurricanes depth chart at QB. A lack of consistency and leadership at QB in 2019 led to persuing D’Eriq King.

King was one of the preeminent QBs in the transfer portal in 2020. Far more accomplished than Martell, King accounted for 50 touchdowns with Houston in 2018, ran for 674 yards and passed for nearly 3,000 in 11 games. The ability King has on the football field is the most dynamic in the history for a Miami QB.

The leadership that King has shown on and off the field has impressed Diaz in the signal caller’s first five months in Coral Gables. During an appearance on the Joe Rose Show on Thursday morning Diaz discussed the difference that King has already made on the team and with the QB unit.

"“D’Eriq King could have gone to a lot of great schools…We told him, ‘Come watch our guys work out. Come watch our wide receivers go through a lifting session. Come see how hungry our guys are.’You’ve got a football team that at a couple positions you just need a little better leadership than we’ve had, a little bit better in terms of a guy that the team can trust — and not just the quarterback, across the board. And these guys start to see this and they’re like ‘You know what, I get it.I get that I can push this thing over the edge.”"

King comes to Miami as the ultimate team player. Not many football players have a kickoff return, rushing, receiving and passing TD. The presence of King caused Williams to transfer. Williams has yet to land at his new destination. Martell and Perry remain with a chance to learn under King in 2020 and compete to start in 2021.

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Redshirt freshman Peyton Matocha and freshman Tyler VanDyke who will likely redshirt in 2020 will also have a chance to compete to be the Hurricanes starter in 2021. Miami could also go to the transfer portal for the third straight offseason next year. That would give VanDyke another season to mature and be ready in 2022.