LAFAYETTE — Brooks Haack, who started eight games at quarterback for Louisiana-Lafayette last season, will not return for his senior season.
Haack announced his decision Friday afternoon in a note on Twitter.
Haack, a native of Katy, Texas, tweeted “Thank you Lafayette” and attached a screengrab of a longer note, which read: “I just wanted to thank everything and everyone that supported me the last 4 years and its sad it had to come to an end.. I wish it would have worked out but God has a plan for everyone and it is our duty to fulfill that plan.. I love Lafayette like a second home and will definitely not be a stranger.. Thank you for the great memories.”
Reached by telephone shortly after the tweet, Haack said he was grateful for his four years in Lafayette but acknowledged it was time to move on.
“I’ve had a great, great four years,” Haack said. “There’s not one thing I would change about my experience. I met a lot of great people, met a lot of great fans, great friends, memories that I’ll have for a lifetime. There’s nothing about that that I would change.
“This could possibly be my last year of football in my life. I really want to take it to heart and succeed for my last year.”
Haack made the decision shortly after meeting with Cajuns offensive coordinator Jay Johnson last week. In that meeting, Johnson laid out the Cajuns’ plan for the 2016 season, and Haack said “it just didn’t look promising.”
Haack started the first three and final five games for the Cajuns this season, throwing for 1,407 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was voted a team captain by his teammates.
Though assumed by many to be the clear-cut starter heading into the 2015 season after performing well in relief of Terrance Broadway in 2014, Haack was never able to assert himself as the Cajuns’ No. 1 option.
He lost his starting job to Jalen Nixon by the fourth game of the season before regaining it toward the end of the year. Though he started the season finale, he played sparingly before turning the keys over to redshirt freshman Jordan Davis for the remainder of the game — a move that may have been the beginning of the end for Haack.
It was a difficult problem for both parties involved. Haack never really looked comfortable in the Cajuns’ run-first attack, and the Cajuns offense skipped a beat without the threat of a read-option attack.
Haack’s decision was partially an effort to find a better fit for his skills, coach Mark Hudspeth said.
“At the end of the day, he would probably like to play in a system that’s a little more tailored for his strengths and his talents,” Hudspeth said. “I think after meeting with Jay, him and Jay had a really good conversation and he felt it was an opportunity for him to move on and find a home that would suit him and his talents.”
Haack needs only to finish nine credit-hours to graduate. He is enrolled in winter session classes that would allow him to graduate next month.
“We’re doing everything we can to hopefully get me to graduate early and start a new chapter,” Haack said.
That would allow Haack to transfer anywhere as a graduate student without having to abide by normal transfer rules that would force him to sit out an entire season.
Haack and Hudspeth said it’s too early to talk about a potential landing spot, though Haack said he was “weighing some options and getting feedback” and would prefer to stay near his Texas home so his family could watch him play in what is likely his final year of football.
Hudspeth said he has not had a conversation with Haack about any limits to places he may transfer. Typically in these situations, teams do not allow players to transfer to a team inside their own conference or on their schedule the following season.
Neither Hudspeth nor Haack seemed to have any sour feelings about the way Haack’s Cajuns career transpired.
“I’m very appreciative of Brooks’ contribution to our program,” Hudspeth said. “He’s been a very integral part of our team for the last four years, and I’m very excited that he will leave here in January with a degree. We want to wish him all the best as he continues his career.”