AUSTIN, Texas — Shane Buechele is leaving the Texas Longhorns football program after graduation in May.

The quarterback from Arlington, Texas announced his plans to transfer to Southern Methodist University in a tweet at 3:53 p.m. Thursday.

"After many prayers and trusted conversations, I have made the decision to continue my football and academic career at SMU," Buechele said. "I am sad to be ending this special chapter with Texas, but I cannot wait to begin this new journey at SMU. Hook Em, Shane Buechele #7."

Buechele entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal back in January.

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"He [Buechele] didn't feel right being around this team knowing his intentions in May. He's still on scholarship, trains here and we check on him every week academically," Texas Head Coach Tom Herman said Wednesday afternoon during his National Signing Day press conference.

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Buechele will have two years of eligibility at SMU. He finished his career as a Longhorn with 4,636 yards passing, 30 passing touchdowns, 16 interceptions and four rushing touchdowns.

But, Buechele will forever be a fan favorite. He began his career during Charlie Strong's final season as UT's head coach in 2016. Buechele led the Longhorns to a season opening win against Notre Dame that season, becoming the first true freshman starting quarterback in the program's history since Bobby Layne in the 1940s.

His record as the Texas starting quarterback: 10 wins and nine losses.

During the 2017 season, Buechele suffered two different injuries and split time with then-true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Prior to this past season, Coach Herman elected to start Ehlinger and the rest is history. It was a decision which resulted in 10 wins, including a Sugar Bowl victory against Georgia.

Throughout it all, Buechele was one of Ehlinger's biggest supporters. In fact, Buechele played in a pair of games and saved the day when Ehlinger suffered an injury against Baylor, leading Texas to a 23-17 win.

Buechele was the ultimate team player. He was one of the team's leaders despite the lack of playing time.

In fact, Ehlinger, took to Twitter after the announcement to give praise to Buechele. 

The reason for transferring: Buechele acknowledges Ehlinger is the starting quarterback moving forward and wants to utilize his two remaining seasons of eligibility as a starter. 

Buechele deserves that and will have that opportunity to become the SMU Mustangs' QB1 in August.