Cornerback Ryan Smith and wide receiver Thomas Huff, who opted to leave the University of Utah football program earlier this week, are doing so for different reasons.

Smith told head coach Kyle Whittingham that he is mentally and physically exhausted with football. The junior plans to remain enrolled at Utah and graduate this summer — well ahead of schedule.

"We hold a degree from the University of Utah in high esteem," said Lance Smith, Ryan's father, while expressing pride in his son's accomplishments on and off the field.

Smith was a freshman all-American in the Utes' 12-0 Fiesta Bowl championship season.

Huff, meanwhile, will likely transfer to another program in search of more playing time. The junior with one career catch at Utah has two years of eligibility remaining, but would lose one if he transfers to another Division I school.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com