Starting RT Jarrid Williams has entered the transfer portal. Williams received a Medical Hardship Waiver (or medical redshirt or medshirt) in mid-December after suffering an ankle injury against UNT. Having already graduated, he will be a grad transfer in his 6th season after previously redshirting in 2015.
At his early signing day press conference in December, Dana Holgorsen seemed confident that Williams would be back with a medshirt. He was expected to anchor the right side of the line next year.
Houston coach Dana Holgorsen says he is confident RT Jarrid Williams will receive medical redshirt to return in 2020
— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) December 18, 2019
Williams decided to transfer after mulling the decision since the fall. Dating back to the beginning of 2018, he had started 17 of 18 games before the injury in Denton. He is now the second OL with four or more starts last year to enter the transfer (Dixie Wooten is the other).
This is not good news for an OL that allowed 95 tackles for loss and 35 sacks last season. Now, there will be some reshuffling on the OL: Pancotti could move to RT which would allow Keenan Murphy to start at LG. Or, Pancotti could stay on the left side and Jordan Boatman takes the RT spot. Pancotti started two of the last 3 games of 2019 at RT.
Twelve players started a game on the OL in 2019:
2019 OL Starters (# of starts)
Gio Pancotti (10)
Josh Jones* (9)
Jack Freeman (7)
Keenan Murphy (7)
Dennis Bardwell (4)
Braylon Jones (4)
Justin Murphy* (4)
Jarrid Williams* (4)
Dixie Wooten* (4)
Max Banes (3)
Patrick Paul (3)
Jordan Boatman (1)
*Not on 2020 roster
Baylor and Miami are thought to be the most likely landing spots for Williams although Arkansas could be a wildcard. Arkansas has a hole on their OL and an immediate need. Baylor’s ‘in’ is Justin Johnson, who left in January to take a spot on Dave Aranda’s staff. Obviously, D’Eriq King would be instrumental in recruiting Williams to Miami while Jarrid’s former OC, Kendal Briles, is at Arkansas.
Williams is the 11th Cougar to go into the portal following the 2019 season. Other notables include WR Bryson Jackson, defensive linemen Isaiah Chambers, and OLB Eyabi Anoma. Chambers signed with McNeese last week while Anoma was dismissed by Dana Holgorsen in February.