When the football team leaves campus Thursday evening for its season-opener at Georgetown, quarterback John Whitelaw ’14 will not be on board.

Whitelaw announced his departure from the football team in an email to his teammates Tuesday, the News has learned. His decision comes in the wake of head coach Tony Reno’s announcement that Eric Williams ’16 would start at quarterback against Georgetown. After spring practice last year, Whitelaw had widely been expected to be named starter in the fall.

Prior to his leaving the team, Whitelaw was featured in head coach Tony Reno’s game plan for Saturday and both Whitelaw and Williams were listed as possible starters on the depth chart.

“Eric will start, I made a decision over the weekend,” Reno said at a lunch with members of the media yesterday. “[But] John [Whitelaw] will play.”

Reno said in an interview Tuesday evening that Whitelaw left the team “to pursue other interests.” He added, however, that Whitelaw’s departure would not affect Williams, his rookie quarterback.

“I don’t think there’s any more pressure at all [on Williams],” Reno said. “He’s got 10 guys [with him].”

Derek Russell ’13 and Logan Scott ’16 will be the new primary back-ups, according to Reno.

Russell is listed as a wide receiver on the roster and has spent the past three years on the junior varsity team. He threw for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns as quarterback for Newton South High School in 2008. He also ran for 500 yards and eight more scores.

Scott was a three-sport athlete for Chaminade and was recruited to play a sport at Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State among other schools.

Whitelaw did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon and evening, and several of his former teammates declined to comment, with one of them doing so because Whitelaw’s departure was “a sore subject.”

Whitelaw saw action in five games last year, completing one of four passes for eight yards and running for fourteen yards on five carries. He spent his freshman campaign on the JV squad, but he received the spring practice quarterback award in 2012.