Ballenger bails out

BOULDER — Sophomore quarterback Matt Ballenger has decided to leave the University of Colorado football program, head coach Dan Hawkins announced Friday evening.

Hawkins met with Ballenger and his father Friday evening and agreed that he would be released to pursue options in football, basketball, or both at another institution.

"Matt is a great young man, and everyone at Colorado respects him and his family," Hawkins said. "He's contemplating his future as a football player or possibly a basketball player. He definitely has potential, especially if he pursues basketball. I saw him in the (Idaho) state tournament and if he decides to go that route, he could really mature into a good player. We will support him and do whatever we can to ensure his future success."

Ballenger, from Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho, was a member of CU's 2007 recruiting class and redshirted that fall. He rose to number two on the depth chart for the first half of last season and saw action in two games, against Texas in Boulder and at Kansas. In the two games, he completed 8-of-12 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, rushing twice for 16 yards while being sacked five times for 23 yards in losses.

Ballenger, who was listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds on CU's spring roster, will finish out semester classes but will not participate in the remainder of practices while considering his transfer options. Hawkins indicated that at this time that Ballenger did not know where he might continue his collegiate career.

The move leaves CU with just two quarterbacks on the roster, junior Cody Hawkins and sophomore Tyler Hansen, for the remaining nine spring practices, including Saturday's 10 a.m. scrimmage at Folsom Field.

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