As the Wildcats prepare to take on Baylor this Saturday, they will be without backup quarterback John Holcombe II. The redshirt freshman announced via social media on Tuesday night that he is leaving the program and will transfer.
“Dear Kansas State University, though my time here was brief, in these short two years, you have brought me nothing but joy. The fan base, the atmosphere, the students and even the professors. I love each and everyone [sic] of you dearly but after careful consideration and many conversations with my family and some close friends, it saddens me to say that I will be entering the transfer portal, you guys are amazing and I wish my brothers nothing but the best for the rest of this season and will be happily cheering them on, but it is my time to part ways.”
The 13-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class didn’t say why he is leaving the program, but it is a tough blow for Kansas State. Coach Chris Klieman has been working to get Holcombe more involved with the offense. After all, a 6-foot-4, 249-pound dual-threat quarterback can be useful in certain situations.
Holcombe saw time in three games this season as Klieman figured out how to get his talent onto the field. Last week against Oklahoma State, Holcombe got a couple of carries for 9 yards, but there was bad with the good. Holcombe is a freshman and it showed against the Cowboys. Despite the hiccups though, coach Klieman was excited about Holcombe’s athleticism. In addition to being a bruising option under center, he has been working at tight end and receiver.
Holcombe’s decision to transfer now is a bit of a head-scratcher. Not only because Klieman was trying to get him involved in the offense, but because of the timing. Holcombe used his redshirt last season, and he has played meaningful snaps this season. Meaning, if he transfers to another Division I program, he will have to sit out another year, and he would lose the eligibility. Regardless, one thing is for sure; Kansas State has lost a multi-faceted weapon that would have been difficult for the rest of the Big 12 to account for.