D’Eriq King top college football returning player who could have entered draft

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King was named the top returning player in College Football who could have entered the NFL Draft by CBS Sports. King announced his return to Miami on December 26. Three days later in the Hurricanes 37-34 Cheeze-it Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, King tore his ACL.

King faces a long offseason of rehabilitation ahead of him. If King can come back healthy to begin the 2021 season and have a strong performance in the season opener against Alabama he will become one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy this fall. King leads a plethora of Miami players returning for the 2021 season.

Safety Bubba Bolden, defensive end/linebacker Zach McCloud, defensive tackles Jon Ford and Nesta Silvera, running back Cam’Ron Harris and wide receiver Mike Harley are among the Hurricanes who decided to return to Coral Gables instead of entering the 2021 NFL Draft. King will be the team leader.

For the first time in his collegiate career, King will play under an offensive coordinator for the second straight season. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and King both joined the Miami football program in January of 2020 from SMU and Houston. CBS projects King to be a favorite for the 2021 Heisman Trophy.

"D’Eriq King, QB, Miami (FL): King passed for 2,686 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding 538 rushing yards and four touchdowns in first-year offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee’s offense. The dual-threat star should be one of the favorites to travel to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist once recovered from an ACL tear suffered in the Hurricanes’ bowl game."

The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, Devonta Smith of Alabama, became the first wide receiver to win the award since Miami resident Desmond Howard of Michigan in 1991. King could add to the trend over the last 10 years of dual-threat QBs winning the Heisman Trophy. King was 11th among QBs nationally in rushing yards in 2020.

Next. Diaz one of few head coaches calling defensive plays. dark

For the first time in many years, the Miami football team will be primarily led by seniors. Harris is the first leading rusher returning to Miami since Mark Walton in 2017. With more experience in the Lashlee offense, most of the players returning and the addition of WR Charleston Rambo, King can be more prolific in 2021.