Sophomore safety James King left UM, a program spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
King left the team “to pursue other options,” according to a press release.
King, who saw action on special teams as a freshman and moved from linebacker to safety this spring, was given a “full and unconditional release,” coach Mark Richt was quoted as saying in the release. “I want to wish him the very best in his future moving forward.”
A source with knowledge of the situation said King was dismissed for off-the-field conduct, and did not leave on his own accord. UM would not confirm that.
King was shown in a photo posted Monday night by UM safeties coach Ephraim Banda, who apparently invited his group over for a home-cooked meal.
In what might have been his last get-together with his Hurricanes teammates, King, second from left in the image below, is shown with his arms around Jamal Carter and Jaquan Johnson.
King, a two-star recruit from Miami-Booker T. Washington High, was a surprise addition to the 2015 recruiting class. He was committed to FAU until Al Golden‘s staff offered him a spot a week before signing day.
At a ceremony where he signed his UM letter of intent next to his future Hurricanes teammate, prized running back Mark Walton, King boasted he was “the best linebacker at Booker T.,” which won four state titles in a row.
He said he planned to go to UM “to work my behind off and start someday.”
Another angle to the story: according to CanesInsight.com, King is the cousin of two high school standouts Miami is recruiting, Hialeah-Mater Academy’s Latavious Brini, a 2017 cornerback, and 2019 athlete Montavious Brini.
Peter Ariz, CanesInsight’s publisher and a Miami Herald correspondent, wrote Sunday that Latavious Brini, who had previously stated he planned to commit to Miami, was “unlikely” to wind up a Hurricane “based on what [Ariz] was told [Sunday].”