Texas WR DeSean Hales has new role

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns thought maybe after four years, receiver DeSean Hales had finally signaled his arrival with a strong performance in the spring.

As it turned out, that was just a prelude to the senior's departure. With two weeks to go before the start of the season, Hales has decided to quit the team.

"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," Hales said in a release. "Football doesn't last forever, and I feel like I could be a help to the team in other ways outside of playing.''

Hales, a former prep All-American, played in 31 games for Texas. He had 13 catches for 87 yards. He played in nine games last season and made two catches.

But in the spring Hales was clearly one of the standout receivers for Texas, ranked 15th in both preseason polls. As had been the case in previous springs, there was some thought he had turned the corner and was ready to be a solid contributor.

"He's just got to make the plays that he's making now in the fall,'' Texas coach Mack Brown said in the spring.

But as fall practice arrived so too did three new freshmen receivers -- Cayleb Jones, Kendall Sanders and Marcus Johnson.

That trio, coupled with the return of sophomore John Harris from a foot injury, has bolstered what was once thought to be a weak spot for the Longhorns.

Texas also has more pass-catching options out of the backfield with D.J. Monroe and Daje Johnson.

Hales will stay with the team to mentor some of the younger players.

"We appreciate the effort and work DeSean has put in over his four years as a player here," Brown said in a release. "We understand his decision and look forward to him staying involved with the team and being a positive influence, especially to the young receivers."

Hales is on track to graduate this fall.

"It's been a great experience at Texas, and I'm just happy I'm still going to be able to be around the team, help out and be able finish my degree at the same time," Hales said.