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What J.D. King’s Transfer Means for the Future of the RB Position at OSU

Where the Cowboys’ backfield stands after the departure of J.D. King.

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Sophomore tailback J.D. King burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2017-18, accounting for 519 yards from scrimmage and five scores en route to becoming a staple No. 2 option behind All-American Justice Hill in OSU’s high-powered offensive attack.

Entering his sophomore season and his second in Stillwater, there were high expectations that he may be able to pick up where he left off. Power-cleaning 285 in the offseason provided plenty of hope that would be the case.

But a lack of opportunity, coupled with the emergence of fellow tailback Chuba Hubbard, left King as the third back and on the outside looking in. There simply wasn’t enough carries to keep him engaged, it seems, leading to his decision Monday to transfer from the program. As of this past weekend, after missing two consecutive games, he is the fifth-leading rusher for OSU, behind Justice Hill, Chuba Hubbard, Taylor Cornelius and LD Brown.

So what does King’s departure mean for the future of the position at RBU? Here’s who is eligible to come back next season.

Maybe returning
  • Justice Hill: Hill is just 70 yards rushing away from a third consecutive 1,000 yard season. Will he return for a senior year and a shot to build his NFL draft status? Does he even have more to prove? The answers to those questions, of course, are (probably) no. Hill is on track to graduate in three years, and sources have indicated he’ll likely forego his final year of eligibility to declare for the NFL Draft.
Most likely returning
  • Chuba Hubbard: Used sparingly over the first month of the season, OSU’s Canadian cannon has been nothing short of spectacular over the last four games. He’s up to 553 yards rushing on the season — 369 of which have come over the last four — and is in line to become RB1 next season. (Side note: Spencer and Chuba sharing the same backfield for the first time is going to bring me to my knees!)
  • LD Brown: LD Brown has been excellent as a second, third and fourth option during his time in Stillwater, dependent upon situation, and his production suggests he may be a viable backup next season. After a 223-yard 2017-18 campaign in which he averaged a stellar 6.6 yards per carry, Brown is up to only 155 yards rushing but has done so on 15 carries — putting him at a gargantuan 10.3 yard per carry pace.
  • Jahmyl Jeter: A true freshman from San Antonio, Jeter has yet to play this season and is on track to redshirt. The 6-foot, 210-pound bruiser had a lot of interest coming out of Brennan High School, and could climb up the depth chart similarly to Chuba Hubbard in his redshirt freshman season next year. His physical running style and talent could give him a shot at being a thunder to Chuba’s lightning.
Maybe coming
  • Deondrick Glass: Sure, the 2019 four-star tailback from Katy, Texas, has tabbed Alabama as the favorite. But as it goes, the Crimson Tide currently don’t have any room for him in their class, and likely have him as a fallback option in case their five-star target, Trey Sanders, commits elsewhere. And he’s not expected to commit elsewhere. I continue to think OSU ends up signing the 5-11, 200-pounder when it’s all said and done. He may be physically ready to play as a true freshman if he can stay healthy.
  • Thomas Grayson: The 6-foot, 190-pound athlete from Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington was a one-time Nebraska commitment who has since backed off his Huskers pledge. OSU hasn’t offered him, but the staff has been in contact and he’s very interested in OSU. He is a viable option if the Pokes need someone, though he does hold offers from Syracuse, Tennessee and others that may make him think twice if the Pokes slow-play him and try to swoop in the final hour.

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