His arrival was hyped to the Nth degree and his departure came as quite a surprise. Now former Kansas University defensive tackle Marquel Combs has a new home.
Combs, who last week received his release from KU after deciding to transfer, has joined the Southeastern Louisiana University program, head coach Ron Roberts announced Monday.
Combs, a junior who was the No. 1 ranked junior-college player in the class of 2013 according to ESPN.com, is eligible to play immediately at the FCS school and seems thrilled to have landed at a place where he could play right away.
"I'm very thankful to all the people who have given me support and helped with my decision," Combs said in the SLU release. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to continue my playing career and studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. I'm excited to be a Lion."
The Memphis native will wear No. 90 at SLU and figures to find playing time immediately.
"We are very excited to have someone of Marquel's talents become a Lion," Roberts said in a release. "In addition to his athletic abilities, he's a high-character young man who is going to be an asset to our program on and off the field."
This ending sure is a far cry from what many expected from Combs just nine months ago. Not only was the 6-foot-3, 300-pound tackle projected to be a cornerstone of KU's rebuilding project, but he also was instrumental in recruiting several other junior-college transfers to KU to join him.
Now, most of them remain and it's Combs who has a new home.
Although there was some speculation when he left that Combs believed he could land at another Div. I program, perhaps even in the powerful SEC, doing so would have derailed his career further because he would have been forced to sit out the 2013 season after transferring anyway.
Combs never found his footing after arriving in Lawrence and could not crack the first string on KU's depth chart. He did not play in KU's first three games and did not even travel to Rice, where KU lost on Sept. 14.
At SLU, Combs joins a program that currently sits 2-2, with losses to TCU and South Dakota State. He is expected to make his Southeastern debut this weekend, when the Lions take on Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. at home.