Nigel King was granted his release from the University of Maryland on Friday, apparently after he was declared a backup on the preseason depth chart just a week and a half ago. He is a graduate transfer and will be able to play immediately this 2014 season. As far as eligibility, King will be a junior at Kansas.
He is listed at 6'3", 201 lbs (or 210 depending on where you look), and was a three star, Top-250 recruit out of high school, holding multiple offers from schools such as LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina, NC State, Louisville, and West Virginia.
After redshirting in his first year at Maryland in 2011, King made three starts and caught nine passes for 125 yards and one touchdown as a redshirt freshman. Over the past two seasons, he has played in all 24 games for Maryland. He was third on the team in receptions last year (2013) with 33 for 450 yards. He also led Maryland in touchdown catches. This could possibly be a bit misleading, however, as Maryland's top two receivers both suffered season-ending injuries early in the 2013 campaign (actually in the same game, vs Wake Forest). In total, King finished his Maryland career with 45 catches for 575 yards and five scores.
From what I can gather from "sources," King likely would have been on the outside looking in for playing time this season at Maryland, as the two receivers mentioned earlier are back, plus the development of other WRs in the Maryland program. However, he would have been expected to be a top target in 2015 due to the loss of seniors after the 2014 campaign.
At Kansas, King is currently listed behind Tony Pierson at #2 on the depth chart at WR. I can't imagine that he will pass up Pierson or Nick Harwell (barring injury, of course). He will battle for playing time with Justin McCay, Rodriguez Coleman, and Tre' Parmalee.
Obviously, King has the talent and experience to come in and contribute right away. Some things that will factor in will definitely be how quickly he learns the playbook, how well he blocks, and how well he runs routes.
Personally, I am not expecting that King will contribute much in September or October. If he does, that's an indictment on McCay, Coleman, and Parmalee (or it means we've had some injury issues). I'll expect him to see the field some later on in the season, and then be a bigger part of the offense going forward in 2015.
Overall, I think it's a good get for Kansas, and I definitely hope he enjoys his time here and helps us get this thing turned around.