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Texas DE Andrew Fitzgerald giving up football

The redshirt sophomore will remain on the Forty Acres as a student.

andrew fitzgerald family
Andrew Fitzgerald with his family during the recruiting process.
via @andrewfitz90

Another player is departing the Texas Longhorns football, as the school announced on Thursday evening that redshirt sophomore Andrew Fitzgerald will give up football, but remain enrolled as a student.

“My chapter here as a part of the UT football program has come to a close,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “It was an experience I will remember forever. I am so grateful for all the blessings and opportunities the Lord has given me to grow and learn from while I’ve been here. My family has been with me and encouraged me along this journey. I want to thank all the staff who are a part of this program for all they have done for me spiritually, academically and athletically. I want to thank coach Strong for giving me the opportunity to play and go to school at one of the best universities there is, and also coach Herman and coach Giles for teaching me things I will carry with me the rest of my life, whether it’s on the field or off. To my teammates who I worked day in and day out with, I wish y’all the best this season and have nothing but good memories and love for y’all.”

Fitzgerald is the second player to depart the program on Thursday, joining redshirt sophomore wide receiver Davion Curtis. Two others players opted to transfer last week — senior defensive back John Bonney and redshirt sophomore cornerback Eric Cuffee.

Like Curtis and Cuffee, Fitzgerald was a member of the 2016 recruiting class, the last full class under former head coach Charlie Strong. A late-rising prospect who eventually earned a fourth star and ended the cycle as the No. 11 strong-side defensive end in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

As a result, Strong called him a dark horse in the recruiting class.

However, Fitzgerald redshirted in 2016 and then saw younger players pass him on the depth chart last season, when he did not see the field. He was not projected to play this season, either. He is the tenth member of the Longhorns’ 28-man signing class from 2016 to have left the program, a figure that does not include Demarco Boyd, who was suspended indefinitely in late July.