Padron granted release from scholarship

SMU quarterback Kyle Padron has asked and received a release from his scholarship. Padron, who began 2011 as the Mustangs' starter, was pulled just a couple series into the season opener after consecutive turnovers. Padron injured his back halfway through the season and SMU was planning to use 2011 as his redshirt year. But now, he has decided to transfer.

SMU quarterback Kyle Padron has asked and been granted a release from his scholarship.

Before things were official, Padron had a few tweets that insinuated the situation:

@KPadron2 on Jan. 26: "Relieved and excited! Thanks to my true friends and family! Love you all! Psalms 16:8."

@KPadron2 on Jan. 27: "#TheAwesomeMoment when you feel God's presence and see the beginning of a great change in your life! #CollegeAdvance2012."

His father, Larry (@PadronLA), also tweeted about it: "Kyle has requested/received his release from SMU. Enjoyed SMU, looking forward to the future."

Padron, who became SMU's starter midway through his freshman in 2009, led the Mustangs to its first bowl game since the Death Penalty, a Hawaii Bowl victory over Nevada, in which he threw for a school-record 460 yards and two touchdowns. He was named the game's MVP.

His performance earned him the job in 2010, where he started all 14 games.

In 2011, Padron was named the starter again. But after back-to-back interceptions in SMU's season opener against Texas A&M in College Station, June Jones pulled the quarterback for J.J. McDermott, who went on to start the remainder of the year.

Jones doesn't usually like to alternate, much less pull his quarterback, but we learned early on that Padron and McDermott were taking equal reps for much of the summer and fall camp.

That leads one to believe that Jones saw something in Padron, who has always struggled to maintain consistency, that he wasn't 100 percent certain about in terms of him being the long-term guy.

Before the Tulsa game, Padron stopped practicing with the team because of a herniated disc he suffered from lifting weights. Then during the bowl break, he had foot surgery.

Padron, a junior, was planning to use 2011 as his redshirt year and applying for a medical hardship so he would be able to play for two more seasons.

But as of this weekend, Padron will not be back on the Hilltop.

According to a source, this has been in the works for a while.

Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert will be enrolling at SMU this summer as a graduate student. It would have been interesting to see Padron and Gilbert compete against each other.

With Padron gone, it looks like Conner Preston and Stephen Kaiser will be the only quarterbacks working out this spring.

Incoming freshman Neal Burcham will also compete with Gilbert, Preston and Kaiser this fall.

At one point in the middle of last season, it looked like SMU was going to have a five-way quarterback competition in 2012 with Padron, Gilbert, Preston, Kaiser and Burcham. And then the following year would be even tougher with six guys battling it out once Eddie Printz got to campus.

But now the Mustangs are down to four guys (Gilbert looking like the early leading candidate) as Padron is transferring and Printz is now committed to UCLA.

At this point, Padron's transfer destination is unknown.

For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

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