Chase Pittman Elects To Transfer

Post spring football attrition is typical on college campuses around the country and the Horns, 10 days removed from wrapping up spring ball, learned Wednesday of the first '04 transfer from the Texas program: <B>Chase Pittman</B>. The sophomore DE, who has been given an unconditional release from his scholarship by UT, said he has yet to decide what school he will transfer to.

"I've really enjoyed my time here with Coach Brown, the staff, all the guys and everyone at UT, but I'm at a point in my life where I'm looking for a fresh start," said Pittman. "I'm leaving my options open on where I'll go next, but the most important thing I want people to know is this is a personal decision on my part. It has nothing to do with UT. I'm just really looking to find a place where I can start over."

The younger brother of Longhorn Cole Pittman who was killed in a single car accident while returning to the Forty Acres from home town Shreveport just before the start of spring ball in '01, Chase signed with Texas in February '02 and redshirted as a true freshman that fall. He saw his first action in the Orange and White last fall in the '03 season opener vs. New Mexico State, ultimately playing in 10 games and registering 10 tackles (including four TFLs and 2.5 sacks) as a back-up defensive end.

"I can't thank everyone at Texas enough," Pittman added. "I've met a lot of great people and made some really good friends. Going back to when I was being recruited until now, it's been a great experience. I'll miss everyone, but I'll definitely be watching and pulling for the Longhorns no matter where I am."

Pittman capped the 2004 spring season by posting three tackles, including two TFLs and a sack, in the Orange-White game on April 3. He was listed as the back-up to starter Tim Crowder at left defensive end on the official depth chart released by the UT coaches last Friday. (Eric Hall was listed at the No. 3 man at LDE, although there are several candidates who should compete for the back-up spot in August, including Austin Sendlein and Kaelen Jakes, both of whom have been double-trained on the inside and outside DL spots.)

"Chase had a great spring and was competing for a starting spot, so we hate to see him go," said Head Coach Mack Brown. "We wish he would stay, but we certainly understand. We will try to help him anyway we can in getting to a new place where he can start fresh.

"The Pittman's will always have a special place in our program and our hearts. We all struggled with Cole's loss and nobody more than the family and especially a younger brother like Chase. We wish him the best and will always be here for him."

Pittman's imminent departure gives the Horns a current projection of 85 scholarship players -- the NCAA limit -- in the fall (67 currently on campus and 18 expected to report in August), although that number is likely to go slightly lower, if history is an indication, due to more attrition.

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