Red Raider backup quarterback, sophomore Jacob Karam, will transfer from Texas Tech later this month after receiving his University Studies/Pre-Law degree after just two-and-a-half years and seek more playing time in his final two years of eligibility.
Karam confirmed the news to RedRaiderSports.com's Chris Level earlier Wednesday and we got a hold of Karam later in the day for a full interview.
"I want to thank coach (Tommy) Tuberville and the Red Raider family from the bottom of my heart for all of the opportunities I was given while I was here," Karam said. "I want to thank coach (Neal) Brown for making me better. I want to thank all my teammates for the support and all the love they've given me over the years. I've truly matured as a man and it's sad for me to leave this place because Texas Tech is a special place to me. It will always be a special place to me. I graduate in two-and-a-half weeks and I'll have a degree from here.
"It's sad for me to leave, but I'm equally as excited to start a new chapter in my life and I'm excited to see where God takes me next. I'm very excited about the opportunities that have yet to come. I'm ready to help a team win some games."
Karam said he should be able to be eligible immediately since he will have finished his undergraduate degree by the time he transfers. The goal is to be at a new school for the spring semester, go through spring ball and to head into the summer as the starting quarterback.
The sophomore said he's open to any school that is willing to give him a chance to start. He doesn't have a list yet, but he plans on staying in the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division I football.
"I got released earlier by coach Tuberville and I'm open to anywhere that's willing to give me a shot to start," Karam said. "I don't have a list or any kind of place. I'm going to another Division I, that's for sure. I'm open to any place that is willing to give me an offer and allow someone to come in and make an immediate impact on the team and to make a drive for a championship."
While playing football at Friendswood (Texas) High School, Karam had scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Houston, Louisville, South Florida, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Although most recently known for his wide receiver touchdown pass this past Saturday in the Red Raiders' 66-42 loss to Baylor, Karam's Tech legacy might be best etched off the field. He leaves Tech with the highest GPA on the football team and he has made the Dean's and President's Lists twice in his college career as well as the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll four times.
Karam also has been a popular student and well-liked piano player at Saint Elizabeth's Catholic Church just a block away from the Tech campus. He became a standout piano player shortly after beginning piano lessons in kindergarten.
The scholastic standout has intangibles that will be extremely hard to find in a younger player suited to start out of the box.
"I'm mature," Karam said. "I've been in a college program for two-and-a-half years now so I know how college football kind of works. I've been in the Big 12 which is the best conference in the country. I know how it kind of works. I feel like I've gotten bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. I'm 10 times the player I was in high school thanks to these coaches.
"I've matured so much and I know I can bring leadership skills. I'll work harder than anybody. I'll push my teammates to be better and I'll be able to rally a team together. Like I said, I want to strive for a championship wherever I go."
Karam then reiterated he'll always be a Red Raider in addition to wherever he lands next.
"There's been so many memories," Karam said. "Just hanging out with my teammates in the locker room has been one. Honestly, this last weekend when we played Baylor and I got to go in on that trick play and threw the touchdown pass, that was really good. Everyday coming up to work and loving being a Red Raider. Just coming up and developing these relationships, life-long memories and friendships with my teammates. Those will be my fondest memories."
Karam finished the 2011 season as the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Seth Doege and completed nine-of-17 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns, including the receiver pass Saturday.
Redshirt freshman Michael Brewer and now-sophomore quarterback Scotty Young will most likely battle it out in spring football to be Doege's backup.
"It's a hard decision, but it's the right time and I have to take advantage of this opportunity," Karam said.