Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) scrambles for a 1st down late in the 4th quarter. Wisconsin Badgers hosted BYU at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday Sept. 15, 2018. BYU won 24-21. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL

The University of Wisconsin football team's three-year starting quarterback plans to play elsewhere for his final season of eligibility.

After an under-performing and injury-laden 2018 season, the Badgers announced Wednesday that Alex Hornibrook has left the program.

Alex Hornibrook mug


"Alex informed us of his decision to leave the team earlier today," coach Paul Chryst said in a UW release. "He contributed to a lot of our recent success and we want to thank him for all he did for our program. We wish him the best of luck."

Less than an hour before the release, AL.com reported that Hornibrook had entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Hornibrook, who won 26 of his 32 starts for UW, missed four games last year while attempting to overcome a head injury. He suffered recurring symptoms after being cleared on multiple occasions and saw a specialist in Michigan for the injury. He also dealt with a back injury earlier in the season.

Hornibrook completed 59.5 percent of his passes last season for 1,532 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

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"I would like to thank the University of Wisconsin, the football coaches, the training staff, my teammates and the fans for four great years as a Wisconsin Badger," Hornibrook said in an Instagram post. "I have decided that after I graduate from the UW School of Business in May, I will transfer to a new school to play my final season of college football.

"I am especially grateful for the friendships I've shared with my teammates, and wish them nothing but the best. I am beyond excited for this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing what God has planned ahead. On Wisconsin."

The fifth-year senior participated in the Badgers' winter workouts, per a UW official, but his departure now makes way for an intriguing quarterback competition when spring practice opens March 26.

The Badgers are left with four scholarship quarterbacks on their roster — junior Jack Coan, sophomore Danny Vanden Boom, redshirt freshman Chase Wolf and true freshman Graham Mertz.

Coan stands as the only one with meaningful game experience. He played in five games last season, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 515 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Mertz, who enrolled in January, comes to Madison as the highest-rated quarterback recruit in UW history. He ranks as the 65th-best prospect in the 2019 class by 247sports' composite.


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