The attrition keeps on coming for the Texas Longhorn football program and, more specifically, the class of 2010, which has now lost three members to transfer with the news on Sunday evening that redshirt freshman running back Traylon Shead will leave the program and has been given his unconditional release, according to a statement from the university.
Here's the statement from Shead:
I'd like to thank The University of Texas, all the coaches and my teammates. It's a wonderful place, and I appreciate the opportunity that I was given by the coaches. I have a lot of friends I've made over the last two years, and some of them I'll hold on to for the rest of my life. This was a great experience for me. I just know that sometimes things don't work out, and I think it's in my best interest to get a fresh start. I'll still be rooting for Texas, and I hope they win the rest of their games and go to a great bowl game and win that. I just want to thank everyone who has anything to do with the program for supporting me over the past few years.
Shead was a record-setting running back in 1A at tiny Cayuga as the former career state leader in touchdowns before Texas commit Johnathan Gray recently broke his record, but never received a carry at Texas after being passed on the depth chart by true freshmen Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, with the superstar Gray set to arrive on campus next season and further limit any chance for Shead to tote the football as a Longhorn.
As a result, Shead had been seeing some time at H-back during practice and in the Kansas game, but it appears that he believes he has the ability to play running back somewhere in college football, despite his 6-3, 220-pound frame, not the ideal build for someone wanting to carry the football consistently.
Shead marks another in a long line of tall Texas running backs forced to at least consider changing positions in the program and despite the success of Brown and Bergeron this season, it's clear that someone needs to stopfrom recruiting tall backs. The aforementioned success of the freshmen backs and the pending appearance of a true prototypical running back in Gray speaks well of Major Applewhite's understanding of what a running back actually looks like, so hopefully he can keep Brown in line and away from running backs better suited to play in the trenches.
Shead has not yet decided where he will transfer, but will likely always have a fond spot in the heart of Texas fans after throwing his horns up in the face of governor Rick Perry, a Texas A&M graduate, while receiving his medal after Cayuga won the state basketball title.