By Tyler Wood

Staff Writer

West Florida quarterback Mike Beaudry, who sat out the entire 2018 season after sustaining a leg injury in the season-opener against Carson-Newman, has announced his decision to request a release from the University of West Florida.

In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Beaudry expressed his gratitude to the university, his teammates, coaches and school administration that made his three-year career as an Argonaut possible.

“After much consideration and prayer with my family, I have decided to ask for my release from the University of West Florida,” Beaudry wrote. “I have nothing but positive things to say about UWF and the people that make it so amazing. This decision is purely for my best interest in education and my career.”

Beaudry helped lead the Argos to the Division-II national championship in his redshirt-freshman season in 2017 and was poised to have another standout year before his season-ending injury on Aug. 30.

In 2017, Beaudry threw for 3,215 yards and 29 TDs while completing 55 percent of his passes and leading the Argos to an 11-4 record and the nationally-televised Division-II title game against champion Texas A&M-Commerce. This year, the UWF offense took a step back without Beaudry under center as the Argos missed the playoffs after finishing the year at 6-5.

Sam Vaughn, a redshirt-senior transfer from the University of Georgia, started in Beaudry’s place for the majority of the season. Vaughn threw for 2,201 yards and 20 TDs and completed 55.9 percent of his passes before relinquishing his starter’s role to Nick Belz, who in four games threw for 258 yards, 3 TDs and 5 interceptions.

The 2018 Argonaut offense averaged 24 points per game a year after Beaudry’s offense scored 28 per game in 2017.

Beaudry tweeted that this was the hardest decision he has ever had to make, and that he will “ALWAYS be a proud (alumnus) of the University of West Florida.”

“I didn’t know what a brotherhood was until I got here,” Beaudry wrote, addressing his teammates. “You guys supported me and had my back every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more grateful. These guys have grown from being just teammates into being my family.”

With Beaudry transferring, Vaughn, who has a season of eligibility left should be set to be the starter for the 2019 season, though there are other names in the quarterback mix such as Kalu Onumah, Evan Johnson and freshman Peyton Calhoun.

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