Wyoming junior-to-be quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels won’t return to the Cowboys, and has enrolled at a junior college.
Carta-Samuels, a two-year starter, was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2009 as he led UW to a 7-6 record and New Mexico Bowl victory.
The story broke on this this afternoon, and here is an e-mail Carta-Samuels sent me and Casper Star-Tribune writer Eric Schmoldt a few minutes ago:
I have arrived at a very difficult decision, one that effects my status as a Cowboy and as a student at the University of Wyoming. With a great deal of humility and a heavy heart, I will be leaving the University of Wyoming and the Cowboy Football Team effective immediately. I have enrolled as a full time student in a Junior College. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to compete as a Cowboy, the support from the Laramie community, and the camaraderie with my teammates. To the Wyoming fans, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and acceptance of me. I will genuinely miss the Laramie Community, the pride, and tradition!
Finally, please know that I have made this decision for personal reasons and that I have no regrets. This is the best decision for my growth and success going forward. There may well be speculation as to why I am leaving, I would simply state, with conviction, that I have given my heart and soul to the program and will always wish the very best for Poke Nation and the Wyoming Cowboys.
UW just sent its official release out on the matter, and here are quotes from coach Dave Christensen:
“I had met with Austyn (Carta-Samuels) at the end of the season,” said Christensen. “After our meeting, he had indicated he was excited to be a Cowboy, and had already signed up for his spring lifting schedule.
“While it is disappointing to our team and Wyoming fans that Austyn has made this decision, if you are in this business long enough as a coach you face situations where young men choose to transfer. We wish Austyn the best in his future.
“As coaches, it is important for us to focus on the young men who are here in our program working hard to build for a successful season in 2011. We have a number of very good leaders returning for next year, and as I’ve said before, I am extremely excited about the recruiting class that we are putting together this year.”
Christensen told me the same thing about Carta-Samuels in early December when I sat down with him for an interview for a season-ending analysis piece.