Jake McGee's college football career is going to come to an end somewhere other than Charlottesville.
The senior tight end has been granted his release, and plans to transfer once he completes his UVa degree in May, the school confirmed on Friday. As a rising fifth-year senior, McGee would be eligible to play immediately for another Division I program once he graduates.
"I am very thankful for my time at UVa and I will always consider myself a Wahoo," McGee said in a statement released by UVa. "I have tremendous respect for Coach London and this football team, but I have decided to pursue my future career elsewhere."
"This is a personal decision and in no way should reflect on this team or it's coaches. I want to thank my teammates, coaches, and especially the Wahoo fans for the endless support."
Despite missing a game, McGee led the Cavaliers with 43 catches for 395 receiving yards last season. He first emerged as a playmaker for UVa as a redshirt sophomore in 2012, when he caught 28 passes for 374 yards, and tied for the team lead with five touchdown catches -- including memorable last-second, game-winning scores against both Penn State and Miami.
"I want to thank Jake for his contributions to the Virginia program and wish him the best," UVa coach Mike London said in a separate UVa release on Friday. "When I came to UVa, he was one of the first players we recruited because he had committed to play for me at Richmond. I am very proud of the fact he will graduate from the University this spring. I hope he finds a program that fits his desires for his final season as a college player."
This spring, the Cavaliers used McGee in more of a hybrid tight end/slot receiver role in practices. McGee admitted in an interview with CavsCorner.com that his potential change in roles was a big factor in his decision to leave.
"I think I've got to be in an offense that's better fitted for my skill set," McGee told CavsCorner, "that will just allow me to play tight end in a more traditional way where I can really improve the best I can to play at the next level."