Senior wide receiver DeSean Hales is foregoing his final year of eligibility to focus on completing his degree, Texas announced on Saturday.
Hales caught 13 passes for 87 yards in his first three years playing for the Longhorns after redshirting in 2008. He was the 53rd-best prospect in the country coming out of Klein Oak High School, according to Rivals.com, and the nation's best 93rd-best prospect, according to ESPN. As a junior, Hales played in only five games, making two catches for 10 yards.
He caught twice as many passes in this year's Orange-White Scrimmage April 1, catching four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. But he decided to not play football this fall, instead serving the team as a student coach while taking the three classes he needs to pass to graduate.
"Football doesn't last forever," Hales said. "Coming to this decision wasn't easy, but I've talked to my family and have decided that it would be best for me to focus on my degree and my career for the future... I always knew that eventually I would like to work with young people, whether it's coaching or training or in some other way, and this will give me the experience of doing that."
Hales' departure leaves Texas without one of its only senior wide receivers. Marquise Goodwin flew back from London earlier this month after competing in the long jump at this summer's Olympics. Fellow senior and track teammate, D.J. Monroe, is moving from running back to wide receiver.
"We appreciate the effort and work DeSean has put in over his four years as a player here," Texas head coach Mack Brown said. "We understand his decision and look forward to him staying involved with the team and being a positive influence, especially to the young receivers."
Texas brings back all three of its starting wideouts in sophomore Jaxon Shipley, junior Mike Davis, and Goodwin. The Longhorns welcome a trio of talented freshmen receivers in Cayleb Jones, Marcus Johnson, and Kendall sanders while running back Daje Johnson can also play the position. Sophomore Miles Onyegbule is recovering from a torn left pectoral and sophomore John Harris is getting over a broken foot.
Hales joins a long list of players that have left the Longhorns football program for various reasons, including wide receivers Darius White, Chris Jones, Greg Timmons, Malcolm Williams, and Brock Fitzhenry.