It was never addressed specifically. But the speculation was that the playing time picture started to change specifically with all the new young depth we had as true and redshirt freshmen last yearDon't recall, was there a specific reason he transferred out or was it just playing time? I thought he might be a real force at some point.
Your second paragraph is likely true barring huge physical developments to your bodyIf the goal is for each new recruiting class to be better than the previous class, then that means by definition that some players are going to be passed over or bypassed.
Under that type of progression, if you are not a starter or at least a key rotational player by the time you're a red-shirt sophomore or junior, you're probably not going to play. it's a constant game of musical chairs, and someone is going to be the last one standing when the music stops.