University of Kentucky quarterback Will Fidler has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility, but he will participate in Senior Day activities Saturday before UK's regular-season finale against Tennessee.
Fidler's name did not appear on UK's original list of 26 seniors who will be honored Saturday, but he was on a list released Wednesday. Fidler's father, Bill, said his son made the decision this week to give up his final year.
Fidler won the backup job behind starter Mike Hartline in camp this fall, and he came on in relief after Hartline went down with a knee injury in the South Carolina game. With Hartline, Newton and redshirt freshman Ryan Mossakowski returning in 2010, Fidler saw the handwriting on the wall.
"I think it just became clear that the staff was going in a different direction," Bill Fidler said. "He has a great relationship with the coaches, but it just doesn't look like there's any room for him."
Fidler, from Henderson County, was a highly touted prospect when he signed with UK in 2006, but he was slowed by a shoulder injury suffered during his redshirt-freshman year. He appeared in four games in mop-up duty during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and he saw action off the bench against Auburn, Louisiana-Monroe and Eastern Kentucky this fall. For the season, Fidler is 20-for-41 passing for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Fidler, who is set to graduate in May, could transfer to a lower-division program and play his final year of eligibility. Fidler's father also didn't completely rule out the possibility of his son changing his mind and returning to UK in 2010.
"It's not a final decision," Bill Fidler said. "He could still come back, but he didn't want to miss the opportunity to go through Senior Day in the event that he doesn't."