Austin, TX – Injured Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert has elected to transfer after three seasons at the school.
Gilbert had surgery on his right throwing shoulder September 20, less than two weeks after he lost his starting job in the first half of a game against BYU after throwing two interceptions in eight pass attempts.
He said in a statement issued Wednesday that transferring was a difficult decision because he loves the university and enjoyed playing there. But after talking with head coach Mack Brown and some of the other coaches, he decided it was in his best interest to pursue another opportunity.
The school said it granted him an unconditional release from his scholarship.
"I can't thank all of my teammates and everyone at Texas enough for all of their support, but I just think I'm at a point in my life where I need a fresh start," Gilbert said.
The junior had started all 12 games for the Longhorns last year, but was injured in a season-opening win over Rice on September 3.
Gilbert said in a statement last month that he decided to have the surgery immediately so that he could begin his rehab and be ready to play next season.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
"Garrett is a terrific young man and we are very appreciative of everything he has done for our program," Brown said in a statement. "I know this has been a tough decision, and I can't thank him enough for hanging in there, helping the younger guys and being a great team guy even after he hurt his shoulder.
"We talked about his decision and we all fully support him. Whatever school he decides to go to will get a guy who will work as hard as anyone and compete both on the field and in the classroom. He is the type of student-athlete any coach would be proud to have in their program.
"We wish him the best and will be watching and rooting for him as he continues his college football career and in the future."
Gilbert was named starter after winning a competition that also included Case McCoy, the brother of former Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy.
He passed for 2,744 yards and 10 touchdowns with 17 interceptions last year and threw for 247 yards, one TD and two interceptions in his two games this season for the Longhorns.