Bailey Hockman stepped in when starter Devin Leary was hurt and helped the NC State football team to an eight-win season and a berth in the Gator Bowl.
But with Leary set to return, freshman Ben Finley waiting in the wings and highly-rated recruit Aaron McLaughlin about to arrive, Hockman figured to be the odd man out on the Wolfpack’s 2021 quarterback depth chart.
In anticipation of that, the redshirt junior has decided to enter the NCAA’s transfer portal.
“This university and program has done so much for my life as (an) athlete and man,” Hockman in a post on his Twitter account, adding that he wishes his teammates “nothing but the best.”
Hockman, who started his college career at Florida State before spending a season at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, came to State in 2019 as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Georgia native started two games for the Wolfpack in his first season with the program, completing 55.6% of his passes for 546 yards with four interceptions and only one touchdown.
He began 2020 as a backup to Leary, but started the season opener against Wake Forest when Leary was unable to play because of contract tracting. Hockman also started the next game, at Virginia Tech, but was eventually benched after throwing a pair of interceptions.
Hockman was again called into service after Leary suffered a broken leg during the fourth quarter of State’s win against Duke on October 17. He stared the final seven games, including last week’s loss to Kentucky at the Gator Bowl.
For the season, he completed 64.3% of his passes (171 of 266) for 2,088 yards and 14 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns while catching a scoring pass.
“We have great guys in the locker room on both sides of the ball and I’m just lucky to be a leader and be a guy on the team that gets to experience it with them,” Hockman said in a Zoom conference prior to what was his final game with the Wolfpack. “They welcomed me with open arms and I’m just blessed with the opportunity to be the quarterback of this team. That’s all I can say. I’m just blessed.”
As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play at his new school immediately. He has not given an indication on where he plans to finish his college career.