Redshirt junior quarterback Cameron Sexton has decided to graduate at the end of this semester and possibly transfer to a Division II school for his final year of eligibility.
"I have always been a competitor and I have more goals I want to accomplish on the football field," Sexton said in a statement released Wednesday. "I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities I had at North Carolina.”
Sexton entered the season third on the depth chart behind sophomore starter T.J. Yates and the much-heralded freshman Mike Paulus.
Yet Sexton ended up splitting time with Paulus after Yates went down due to injury and Paulus struggled against Virginia Tech and Miami.
Sexton had a breakout performance against Miami, throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
A seamless transition from Yates to Sexton even had writers speculating whether or not Sexton should continue to get the nod when Yates recovered from a broken ankle.
After leading the Tar Heels to three straight wins, including a 38-12 dismantling of nationally ranked UConn, Sexton struggled on the road against a tough Virginia team and became a liability, throwing two costly interceptions that kept the Cavaliers in the game.
Sexton awed the skeptics after a 238 yard and three touchdown performance against another ranked team -- eventual Coastal Division champion Boston College. Carolina won the game 45-24 and then thrashed Georgia Tech 28-7 on the back of a pair of Sexton touchdown passes fueled by the Heels' defense.
However, concerns over his poise reemerged after a lackluster game against Maryland in which the crowd seemed to rattle him, and Carolina's offense stalled.
The following game, Yates regained his starting position in a 41-10 loss to in-state rival NC State. Sexton had lost the starting job.
Yet I'm still surprised that he plans to graduate and possibly transfer. I felt Paulus was much more likely to leave due to the talk of his pro potential.
Sexton, like Paulus, starred in high school and was rated the 20th best quarterback in the 2005 recruiting class, according to Scout.com.
Breaking his ankle his freshman season severely limited the Laurinburg native and he struggled in his second season and eventually backed up Nebraska transfer Joe Daily, and the Tar Heel faithful were shocked when lesser-known quarterback Yates beat out Sexton for the starting job in Butch Davis' first season.
Sexton completed 152 of 305 passes for 2,110 yards and tossed 13 touchdowns in his career at UNC.
"Cam has great character and has always represented the University in a first-class manner," head coach Butch Davis said. "I congratulate him on receiving his degree and I will do all I can to help him in the future."