Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter announced on his social media accounts that he is eligible to play for the Flames this season after transferring from Tennessee. Late this summer, Liberty added an incoming freshman to its roster in highly rated quarterback Kaidon Salter. The 6’1″, 195 pound athlete joins the Flames after spending the spring semester at Tennessee.
Salter signed with the Volunteers out of high school where he attended Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. He was a top 50 national prospect and was ranked as the No. 6 quarterback nationally and No. 5 prospect out of Texas in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.
Out of high school, Salter had over 20 offers including Liberty, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Syracuse. Liberty and head coach Hugh Freeze were the first reported offer to Salter in April 2019.
Salter was dismissed from the Tennessee football program in late June following his second run-in with police in his first few months on campus, both drug related charges. In the most recent incident, he confessed to having four grams of marijuana.
“We had a lot of discussions throughout the process before he decided to come here and before we decided we wanted to go that route,” Freeze said of Salter earlier this month. “I’m not afraid of people, kids that may have had a bump in the road or an issue. I’m afraid of those that don’t want to chase a standard. I know very few people that have gotten it right all the time. We had those honest conversations with he and his family. I’m convinced that he wants to write the next chapter of his life a little differently, and I’m thrilled that I get the chance to play a role in it.”
Now cleared, Salter will compete as part of the pecking order behind Malik Willis and his current back-up Johnathan Bennett. He is a true freshman with four seasons of eligibility remaining including a redshirt season.
The Flames will likely have a need for a new starting quarterback following the 2021 season. Current starter Malik Willis, who transferred to Liberty from Auburn, could use a COVID shirt and return for the 2022 season, but Willis is expected to be a high draft pick and is likely to leave following this coming season. Behind Willis, the Flames are very inexperienced at quarterback with Bennett the only other quarterback on the roster with playing experience.
Salter will be one of five freshman quarterbacks on Liberty’s roster behind Willis this fall, as he joins Bennett, Sean Brown, Nate Hampton, and walk-on Will Bowers. Bennett is a redshirt-freshman with the COVID affected 2020 season not counting against his, or anybody else’s, eligibility.
On the field, Salter has already shown his ability. Coach Austin and the Flames’ coaching staff is working with him early in his collegiate career on fine-tuning his fundamentals.
“Physically, Kaidon, like most quarterbacks, he had quite a few fundamental flaws, both lower and upper body,” said Austin earlier this month. “He’s really talented. He’s got a real live arm. He’s naturally accurate. He’s twitchy. He can run. He’s got great vision. He has all the ability that he needs. We’re coaching him pretty hard fundamentally right now, particularly lower body and making sure that his three-quarter delivery is removed. Very similar to Malik when we got Malik.”
— K7 (@07ksalt) August 24, 2021