In a statement Friday, Elliott called it a difficult decision. He thanked North Carolina fans and former coach Larry Fedora for "giving this kid from a small Texas town a shot to live out his dream."
Elliott started nine games in a 2-9 season in 2018, throwing for 2,169 yards and 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions. North Carolina switched to freshmen Cade Fortin and Jace Ruder and sophomore Chazz Surratt at various points, though Elliott took over again after each got hurt. Elliott didn't play in the finale against NC State as Fortin went the entire way.
New coach Mack Brown said he had hoped Elliott would return but understood the decision.