Former Nebraska quarterback Patrick Witt, who decided to transfer prior to the start of spring practice in February, has officially chosen Yale as his destination.
The Huskers’ backup signal caller last season, Witt was expected to battle for the starting job this summer in Lincoln, Neb. Instead, Witt chose to enroll as a sophomore at Yale, over Duke, UCLA and South Carolina, he announced Tuesday. Since he will be transferring to a Football Championship Subdivision school, he will not have to sit out a year like he would have had he decided to transfer to an Football Bowl Subdivision program.
The 6-foot-2-inch 225-pounder boasts a 4.0 grade point average in economics at Nebraska. The quarterback said he is attracted to the combination of athletics and academics an institution like Yale provides.
“I want to be around the smartest and the brightest, and Yale gives me the opportunity to expand intellectually as well as playing football,” Witt said in a telephone interview.
Witt’s exposure to Ivy League football dates back to 2007, when he visited the Yale Bowl to watch The Game; his brother Jeff was a quarterback for Harvard at the time. But out of high school, Witt decided to commit to Nebraska over schools such as Oklahoma and Texas A&M, although his high school coach at Wylie High School in Texas, Bill Howard, said schools like Yale were on his radar.
“Education’s always been one of his major priorities,” Howard said in a telephone interview. “He loves football, but grades have always been first in his life.”
Witt, a native of Lilburn, Georgia, moved to Wylie, Texas, during the spring of his junior year and finished his high school career there.
At Nebraska, Witt redshirted his first year and won the backup job behind starting quarterback Joe Ganz. Witt appeared in five games last season, completing six of eight passes for 48 yards and rushing four times for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Although he has not received his acceptance letter, which are mailed out in May, Witt has been given a letter saying he will most likely be admitted. To acquaint himself to Yale and New Haven, he plans on spending his summer in the Elm City after spending May at home. He will either enroll in classes or find a job in the area, Witt said.
Witt visited Yale and met with new head coach Tom Williams and has been told that he will be able to compete for the starting job with Brook Hart ’11, Rich Scudellari ’10 and Bryan Farris ’12, he said . Although he has not met any of his future teammates, Witt said he believes the team will welcome his mentality of simply wanting to help the team win.
“I don’t know if I’ll be starting or in the backup role; I just want to make the team better,” he said. “I know that coming in from a different school I can ruffle some feathers but I’m coming in just looking to help the team out.”