Texas OT Paden Kelley quits football

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas football has lost another player.

Offensive tackle Paden Kelley has decided to quit football but stay at Texas in order to pursue his degree. With that announcement, Texas has now lost two of the top three players from what was the No. 3 rated recruiting class in 2009. Kelley was also the second player from Austin’s Lake Travis High to leave the team in the last year.

Kelley’s high school teammate Garret Gilbert, the No. 2 quarterback prospect in 2009, transferred to SMU. Kelley was the No. 2 offensive tackle in the 2009 class. Neither player came close to living up to the hype that surrounded his recruitment.

His loss should not affect the offensive line. While Texas wanted him to compete for a backup tackle position, it was clear through the spring that he was unable to make the progress necessary to be a part of the rotation at that spot. Instead Texas turned to Luke Poehlmann as the backup at one spot and could use Garrett Greenlea or perhaps even freshman Camhron Hughes as the backup at the other tackle.

“After talking with my family and the UT staff, I have made the decision to take a step back from football in order to focus on family and other priorities in my life outside of athletics,” Kelley said in a release.

Kelley had one start while at Texas and played in 20 games.

“We support Paden in the decision he's made and understand his reasons," head coach Mack Brown said. “We appreciate the efforts he's given in his three years here and wish the best for him in the future.”