OMAHA, Neb. – Nebraska backup quarterback Cody Green has decided to transfer after getting beaten out by Taylor Martinez for the starter's job last fall and having failed to make headway in the spring against new challengers.
Green and coach Bo Pelini confirmed the transfer in a statement Tuesday.
"The decision to leave was very difficult for me and my family," Green said. "It was by far one of the hardest things I've ever done. I talked to coach Pelini and he has offered to assist me in finding another school to continue my playing career. I wish coach Pelini and Nebraska nothing but the best this year and in the future."
Recruiting services pegged Green as one of the top 10 quarterback prospects in the nation when he was coming out of Dayton, Texas, two years ago. Fans believed Green was destined to be the next in a line of Nebraska quarterback greats like Tommie Frazier, Scott Frost and Eric Crouch.
Green, who backed up Zac Lee in 2009, wasn't up to the task when Pelini declared the starter's job open before the 2010 season. The more elusive and faster Martinez beat out Green and Lee, and blossomed into one of the top freshmen in the country before injuries slowed him the second half of the season.
Green didn't appear to have the coaching staff's confidence last season. It was Lee who took over for an ineffective Martinez in a 20-13 loss to Texas. And after Martinez sprained his right ankle late in the first half against Missouri two weeks later, Lee got the nod to take over in the second half of the 31-17 win.
Green did start in wins over Iowa State and Colorado.
In November, Green said he wouldn't consider transferring.
"If you leave, you're just going to have to start over again," he said at the time. "If you're in my shoes, you're already down two years and you're going to have to learn a whole new offense, which will take a year, and get in with new guys all over again. What's the point of doing that when you have a one-in-a-million chance of going to the next level?"
Green also had expressed enthusiasm about the new offensive system Nebraska plans to take into the Big Ten under first-year coordinator Tim Beck.
Had Green stayed at Nebraska, however, he might have slipped to No. 3 on the depth chart behind Brion Carnes, a redshirt freshman.
Carnes clearly outplayed Green in the spring game, and walk-on Ron Kellogg III also was impressive. Green also might have faced additional competition from incoming freshman Bubba Starling, though it's not certain Starling will play college football. Starling is projected to be one of the first players taken in next week's major league draft.
"Cody Green is a tremendous young man and we appreciate the contributions he has made to this football program," Pelini said. "Cody feels like it is in his best interest at this time to look at other schools to continue his college career. We will support him in this process and wish him success in the future."