Because he wants to have a "100 percent chance to play and get on the field," redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Mossakowski of Texas is transferring from Kentucky.
He'll finish the semester at UK because leaving after classes have been in session for three weeks would be complicated academically. However, he won't work out or practice with the team this spring.
"To be honest, I prayed about it a lot and talked to family and close friends about it. I just felt like it was the best decision for me. The coaching staff made it very clear the job would be open in the spring, but at the end of the day I want to go to a place where I have a 100 percent chance to play and get on the field," said Mossakowski.
Mossakowski and Indiana's Morgan Newton were both four-star quarterback signees for UK two years ago. Newton started eight games as a true freshman in 2009 when Mike Hartline was hurt and this year was Hartline's backup. Newton also started the Compass Bowl when Hartline was suspended.
Mossakowski had shoulder surgery midway of his senior season at Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas but still threw for 7,433 yards and 51 touchdowns in his career and rushed for 799 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was ranked as one of the nation's top 25 quarterbacks by SuperPrep, Scout.com and Rivals.com coming out of high school.
At Kentucky, he barely played. He did not attempt a pass or have a rushing attempt in 2010. Even when UK's offense struggled in the bowl game, Mossakowski did not get a chance to play.
Kentucky also brought in California quarterback Maxwell Smith in December and is expected to sign at least one more quarterback Wednesday.
Still, leaving a place he has grown to love was not easy for Mossakowski.
"To be honest, it was probably one of the toughest decisions of my life," Mossakowski said. "I love UK and the coaching staff. It's tough working out and putting everything you have into it and not playing. At the end of the day, it just didn't work out.
"I feel I was supposed to be here for two years. God led me to this place. I am not regretting my decision to come to Kentucky. I made a lot of friends here, respect the coaching staff. But at the end of the day, I have to do what is best for me."
Mossakowski thinks his decision "surprised" UK coaches who had said he would compete with Newton and Smith for the No. 1 job in spring practice.
"They made it clear to me in the spring the job would be open. But this is something I have to do. I feel like it is the best move for me," he said. "The coaches supported my decision. That's the vibe I got from them. They understand I am a competitor and that I love to compete and that I want to play the game I love."
His high school coach, Mark Howard, has already heard from a "couple of schools" and will help his former player find another place to play.
"I am just going to keep my options wide open," Mossakowsi, who is also a talented baseball player and had planned to play baseball at UK this season, said.
That means he's open to transferring to a Division I-AA team where he could play immediately. If he transfers to a Division I-A team, he'll have to sit out the 2011 season and will have only two years of eligibility left and will have gone basically three years without playing.
"It just depends on what situation each school has," Mossakowski said. "If it is Division I-AA, sweet. If I have to sit out a year at a Division I school, sweet. I'll just evaluate and do what is best for me."
He plans to work out on his own five to six days per week and will lift weights and run just like he would have if he was still playing for Kentucky.
"I am not nervous about this at all. I will be fine," he said. "I've still been blessed with a great life and this does not change that."
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