Briles To Transer To UH; Play For Dad

Longhorn head coach <B>Mack Brown</B> confirmed Monday what Inside Texas referenced last Thursday in the Inside Scoop: sophomore FS <B>Kendal Briles</B> intends to transfer to the University of Houston to play for his father, <B>Art Briles</B>, who became Cougar head coach on Dec. 6.

"We really like Kendal and appreciate everything he has done for us," Brown said. "He's a great leader who has contributed a lot to our program, both on and off the field. I know he loves UT and being a Longhorn, but this is a special circumstance for him. Kendal passed up the chance to play for his dad once before, but now he's decided it's something he doesn't want to miss out on with his dad being head coach. We completely understand his decision, appreciate what he's done for us and look forward watching him in the future. He always will be welcome in the Longhorn football family."

Briles, who has been given an unconditional release from his scholarship, was the Longhorns' top backup FS and saw action on special teams as a redshirt freshman last season.

"The only reason I'm leaving Texas is to be with my dad at Houston," Briles said. "I came to UT because I loved the coaches, the Longhorn family and it was where I wanted to be. None of that has changed, but having a chance to play quarterback for my dad again was just too much to turn down. I have a really close relationship with my dad and this wouldn't even be an option if it wasn't for him. I believe in my dad and want to have a chance to help him get the program off to a good start at Houston."

The 5-11, 195-pound Briles played in seven games and posted 10 tackles (five solo), two interceptions and two pass breakups last season. Both of his interceptions came against Baylor. He missed the first five games of the season with an ankle injury and one more with a shoulder injury.

Briles battled Dakarai Pearson for the hotly contested free safety starting spot last August and was running with the first team before suffering an ankle sprain toward the conclusion of two-a-days. He also underwent two rounds of shoulder surgery at the end of the 2002 season.

"I know that I will have to sit out a year and there are a lot of good players there," Briles said. "I just want to step in, compete and help wherever I can. I love everyone at Texas and will always be a big fan of the program, but this was something I just couldn't pass up."

Earlier this spring, Brown mentioned Briles as a likely candidate for fourth-team QB should one of the starting three suffer an injury. A two-time Texas 4A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-state quarterback, Briles led Stephenville High School to a 16-0 record and the Texas 4A State Championship while playing for his father as a junior. He transferred to Wolfforth Frenship High as a senior when his father became running backs coach at Texas Tech.

The elder Briles was a member of the Cougars' 1976 SWC Championship squad. Although he is Houston's 10th head coach, Briles is the first former UH player to lead the football program.

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