Update: King and wide receiver Keith Corbin will remain on the team, but remove themselves from the active roster and take this season as a redshirt. See below.
A year ago, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant made waves when he left the team mid-season, used the then-brand new NCAA rule to count the 2018 season as a redshirt, and then graduate transferred to Missouri.
Bryant made the decision after Clemson's fourth game because he had just been demoted in favor of Kelly Bryant.
Now, that same process is being taken up a level, as it appears Houston's starting quarterback, D'Eriq King, will leave the team, count this season as a redshirt and pursue a graduate transfer elsewhere for 2020.
King's father, Eric King, told Mark Berman of Houston's Fox affiliate that the decision has been made.
King himself has said the decision is not final.
If the move is completed, King would be the first starting quarterback to use the new redshirt rule to this extreme.
King has been an extremely productive player in three-plus seasons for the Cougars. He threw for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 14 more scores before injuring his knee last season, and on Thursday broke Tim Tebow's FBS record with his 15th consecutive game with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown.
If and when King indeed leaves the team and becomes a free agent, he would instantly become one of the most highly-recruited graduate transfers on the market for the 2020 season.
Such a move would clearly be an unintended consequence of the redshirt rule passed by the NCAA ahead of the 2018 season, which was written to avoid punishing bottom-of-the-roster players who step up for their teams upon multiple injuries.
At the same time, King's college football experience has been at the other end of the spectrum: he was signed out of Manvel, Texas, in 2016 by Tom Herman, played his sophomore and junior seasons for Major Applewhite and now plays his senior season for Dana Holgorsen.
Houston is off to a 1-3 start to the Holgorsen era, and now it seems they may have to play the rest of his first season without their starting quarterback.
Update: King and Corbin announced they will remain at Houston but take this season as a redshirt. Time will tell if either player are still Cougars at this time in 2020, but for now they will remain in school, just not as part of the team.