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Kansas State Football: Joshua Youngblood Enters the Transfer Portal

Kansas State’s All-American kick returner is looking for a new home after a tumultuous start to the 2020 season.

Joshua Youngblood was the first to speak out. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Sigh, Joshua Youngblood has entered the transfer portal.

Youngblood was a kick returning marvel last season, returning three kickoffs for touchdowns in his true freshman season and earning First Team All Big-12 and First Team All-American honors from several media outlets.

2020 was supposed to be the year Youngblood transitioned from kick returner to wide receiver/kick returner, but that wasn’t in the cards. He’s played in two games, returned five kicks, and rushed once for three yards.

Against TCU, Kansas State was in desperate need at the wide receiver position, but the coaching staff elected to go with seldom used reserve D.J. Render (who had an exceptional game considering the circumstances) in his stead. There has been some internet “smoke” around Youngblood potentially transferring out of the program, and there appears to have been a fire behind those acrid clouds.

I’m not sure what’s going on with Joshua, but I’ve interacted with him on a few occasions and he’s always struck me as a thoughtful young man. The people I know around the program spoke highly of his character and work ethic coming into the season, but sometimes things don’t work out.

In terms of the 2020 season, this doesn’t hurt the Wildcats as much as you may think. Youngblood is a talented player, but with opportunities to return kicks in todays game coming few and far between, his spot in the return game can be adequately filled by other players on the roster. I mentioned Keyon Mozee in a previous article, and this could be an opportunity for him to step up and touch the ball a few more times. Malik Knowles is also an experienced returner with game breaking potential.

Long term, this hurts because of Youngblood’s unfulfilled potential at receiver. Physically he has tremendous ability, and he was transitioning to the receiver position after playing quarterback in high school. Sometimes that takes a few seasons, even for the best athletes. I wonder if this happens in a normal season. Of all the players on the roster, he needed a full spring and fall camp the most to hone his receiving skill set.

I wish Joshua nothing but the best and hope he finds what he’s looking for in the transfer portal.

This year has been tough on everyone.