Jarren Williams informed Miami on Thursday that he is entering the transfer portal, a move that comes three days after former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King decided to join the Hurricanes.
Williams started 10 of Miami’s 13 games this past season, after beating out N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell for the first-string job. But with King -- the presumed starter for 2020 -- arriving this week, it was presumed that some of Miami’s incumbent quarterbacks would look elsewhere.
Atlanta-based attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Williams, said the quarterback was going to fill out his paperwork to make the entry into the portal official on Thursday before he was delayed by his class schedule. Mars said Williams will finish the paperwork Friday.
“Because college football fans are prone to fill this vacuum of information on social media with nothing but speculation, we’ve entered an era where high-profile student-athletes are often unfairly judged and criticized based on misperceptions about why they transferred,” Mars said. “What’s more, this uninformed criticism leads to unfair comparisons about whether one student-athlete versus another should have received a waiver. It’s a horrible situation.”
It’s believed that Williams will remain at Miami for the remainder of the spring semester, which started earlier this month. He will remain on scholarship for that semester.
There were times when Williams showed great promise. He broke a school record with a six-touchdown game against Louisville, threw for 313 yards in a win over Florida State and threw for 309 more on 30-for-39 passing in a loss to North Carolina.
But he battled inconsistency, such as three first-quarter interceptions in what became a loss to Virginia Tech and a three-interception outing in a humbling loss by crosstown rival FIU. Williams was only 39 for 82 in Miami’s final three games combined, all losses.
If Williams is granted a waiver, he could play elsewhere in 2020. The NCAA typically requires undergraduate transfers to sit a season before becoming eligible at a new school.
Mars is an advocate of changing that rule.
“Every rationale for making transferring student-athletes sit out a year has now been thoroughly discredited — leaving only a few head coaches making millions of dollars to whine about roster management," Mars said. “Considering the harm the current waiver rules are doing to student-athletes, the Legislative Council ought to address this issue without delay and adopt a new rule allowing every student-athlete a one-time transfer without penalty."
King had at least one rushing touchdown and at least one passing touchdown in each of his last 15 games with Houston — a streak that broke the FBS record held by former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. For comparison’s sake, Miami quarterbacks have had 15 such games in the last nine seasons combined.
King’s best season at Houston was in 2018, when he threw for 36 touchdowns and rushed for 14 more. He left the Cougars with 4,925 passing yards, 1,421 rushing yards and 504 receiving yards. King split time between receiver and quarterback in 2016 and 2017, making 58 catches for three touchdowns.