The preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year will not be playing football in the Big 12 this year.
Ending weeks of speculation, defensive end Devonte Fields tweeted Wednesday evening that he would be transferring from TCU to in-state FCS school Stephen F. Austin.
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reporter Travis Brown later confirmed the move with Fields via text message.
"Just wanted to say thanks to TCU for the opportunity! Anxious to start a new chapter of life at SFA!! #Stillreppinpurple! #Blessed #Newstart," Fields said in a tweet on his private account.
The Horned Frogs star reportedly met with school officials on Tuesday to determine his status at the university. He was separated from both the school and the football team since late July after an off-campus incident in which his ex-girlfriend accused the football player of pointing a gun at her and then punching her in the head, according to police reports. The Associated Press reported Fields subsequently turned himself in to authorities on a misdemeanor assault warrant but was released after posting bond.
Fields was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year two seasons ago as a freshman when he burst onto the scene and recorded 10 sacks as TCU transitioned to its new conference. He never followed up on the promise he showed, however, missing most of 2013 with a foot injury. He was also suspended by head coach Gary Patterson for a violation of team rules.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound end is considered by some to be a potential first-round draft pick but the off-the-field incidents certainly put that evaluation into doubt for the redshirt sophomore.
By transferring to an FCS school, Fields will be eligible to play in 2014 and will not have to sit out the season like he would had he moved onto an FBS program.
TCU at least has experience playing at a high level without Fields after finishing second in the Big 12 in total defense last season. Patterson has downplayed the potential impact along the defensive line the past few weeks and it seems as though he won't have to address such speculation any more.