Backup QB Austin King transferring from Indiana

Austin King is looking for a new home.

King, a backup quarterback, is transferring from Indiana, coach Tom Allen announced Friday. The Georgia native did not see the field in two years with the program, including his redshirt season in 2015.

King’s decision to leave isn’t surprising. The writing seemed to be on the wall during fall camp, as redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey and true freshman Nick Tronti were the primary competitors for reps behind starter Richard Lagow. Ramsey is listed as Lagow’s backup on the two-deep Indiana released Friday morning.

In a message posted to his Twitter account Friday, King thanked the university for the opportunity.

“It was an extremely difficult decision for me considering how much Indiana has done for me the past two years,” King said. “The relationships I gained were priceless and I will cherish them forever.

“I want to thank Coach Allen and Coach (Nick) Sheridan for giving me the opportunity to play and grow as a player and as a person. I firmly believe Coach Allen is taking this team in the right direction and I wish nothing but success for Indiana this year and years to come.”

When he committed to Indiana in December 2014, King was considered a three-star prospect and the No. 30 pro-style quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class. At the time, former IU coach Kevin Wilson was looking for a quarterback after Decatur Central’s Tommy Stevens flipped his commitment to Penn State earlier that fall.

Wilson pressed for King after losing Stevens, personally traveling to the King family home in Alpharetta, Ga. to pitch the quarterback on a future in Bloomington.

King completed 168 of his 298 pass attempts as a senior at Alpharetta High School, throwing for 2,370 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions that season.

“We really wish him the very, very best,” Allen said. “He’s a fine young man, and (comes from) a very good family.”

After King arrived for the 2015 season, Indiana brought in Ramsey, another three-star propsect, for the 2016 season. Ramsey immediately made his presence felt behind the scenes, earning IU’s offensive scout team player of the year award and claiming weekly scout team honors on five occasions (Florida International, Michigan State, Maryland, Michigan and Purdue).

In a preseason ranking of Big Ten backup quarterbacks, Ramsey ranked sixth on a list compiled by BTN.com. The Cincinnati product played well during IU’s spring game in April and earned praise throughout fall camp for his approach to the position.

“Peyton is always consistent,” Lagow said. “You get the same thing from the kid every day, which there’s a lot to be said about that.”

Meanwhile, Tronti offers a similar skill set to former IU quarterback Zander Diamont. Like Diamont, Tronti is a very mobile quarterback. But while Diamont was not physically ready when he was thrown into the fire as a freshman in 2014, Tronti has a more developed body. He is listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds on IU’s roster.

As a senior at Ponte Vedra High School, Tronti won Mr. Football honors for the state of Florida, completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 7,443 yards and 72 touchdowns for his career, while adding 20 career rushing scores. His 72 passing touchdowns are second only to Tim Tebow in St. Johns County history.

Ideally, Tronti will redshirt this fall.

“I think Nick has done an awesome job,” Lagow said. “For being a true freshman, he’s doing awesome. Far, far, far better than I was my true freshman year, that’s for sure. Very impressive, both of them.”

6 comments

  1. Although you hate to have players transfer I am glad to see King decide to go to another school. He has a great arm but is clearly missing something as even a coaching change didn’t help him out. If a new school can reignite him he has a chance to be a good QB somewhere. This makes it important for IU to bring in a QB this coming class to make sure they have a full QB room with players that can get the job done.

    Our back up QBs look to be quality QBs that can move in and lead this team in the near future. The team should be in good shape over the next four years at QB as long as they can bring in a new QB with each class.

  2. Agree about A.K. It is challenging for a 3 star h.s. qb to be real successful in major conference. Heck, one year I looked at UCLA or USC roster (forgot which one) they had like (3) 4 star qb’s on roster at the same time. A.K. can play for a smaller program Mac conference or MO Valley, Wac for example and do well. Not sure about current QB’S and if IU is in good shape for near future. in reality they have not done nothing currently.

  3. Anyone paying attention could see this coming a mile away. I mean, what choice did King have? Why would anyone with confidence in their abilities agree to put in all that time and do all that work without a realistic opportunity to play? I think he’s doing the right thing for himself and for IU Football. He gets a chance to go somewhere he can play, and he frees up a scholarship that IU can use on another player. I wish him the best and hope to see him on the field some day.

    Unless Covington has been taking snaps in secret, things could get dicey if Lagow gets injured. Does IU have any other back-ups after Tronti? And I hope Allen insists that Ramsey and Tronti play in garbage time, so that they get valuable game experience should anything happen to Lagow. If IU is up on Florida Int by three touchdowns at the start of the fourth quarter (I know, wishful thinking), there’s no way Lagow should still be in the game. Allen needs to protect his starter while developing his future Quarterbacks.

  4. Podunker, I don’t see much “garbage time” in this year’s schedule. IU will need every W it can garner. With no let off until the game is over. Also IU can not allow big “blow-outs” in any L.

  5. 3 touchdowns going into 4th quarter is not enough for IU. I saw IU lose these kinds of games more than a few times.

  6. Gee, where was the love when Tre Roberson transferred (to enjoy starting for a contender)?

    PO- If this year is anything like last year, even if Lagow stays healthy things could get dicey.

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