Transfers are not uncommon in college football. But two key players from the same team transferring to the same school in the same offseason? That is rare.
That’s what has happened with two former Texas Tech starters; defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko and wide receiver Jonathan Giles left Lubbock and transferred to LSU. Fehoko announced his decision last month, while Giles announced his earlier this week.
“It’s pretty odd,” said Will McKay, who covers Texas Tech for RedRaiderSports.com, said on 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge, “especially considering those are two of your guys that you’d put in your top seven or eight guys as far as contributors.”
Fehoko was a former top-50 recruiting prospect from Hawaii who started every game during his two seasons in Lubbock. Giles led the pass-happy Red Raiders last season in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,158) and receiving touchdowns (13).
“There were some rumblings with Fehoko that he wasn’t real happy with how he was being used and his role on the defensive line,” said McKay, who pointed out that Fehoko was being used more to occupy blockers than to make plays.
McKay also noted that Fehoko’s brother, Stan, was a grad assistant at Texas Tech “that got let go in December, so that played into it.”
Giles’ decision was more surprising.
“He was on an absolute tear to start last year … and then down the stretch, he just disappeared a little bit,” he said. “Didn’t have a 100-yard game in the last five. He got benched in a couple of those games. Didn’t play against Iowa State, and OC Eric Morris was pretty honest and open saying he wasn’t really happy with the way that Giles had reacted to being the guy and getting double-teamed. And teams were really starting to really get physical with him down the stretch and I don’t think he played very well.
“That all kind of bled into the spring, where he was still sitting on the bench … and decided to transfer at the end of the spring. It’s a weird deal, but when you start connecting the dots, it starts making sense with both guys.”
Both players will sit out 2017 under NCAA transfer rules, then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)
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