'It's time for me to move on,' BYU QB Baylor Romney says in goodbye message

BYU quarterback Baylor Romney (16) looks to throw during the first half of the Independence Bowl NCAA college football game against UAB in Shreveport, La., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.

BYU quarterback Baylor Romney (16) looks to throw during the first half of the Independence Bowl NCAA college football game against UAB in Shreveport, La., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Matthew Hinton, Associated Press)

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PROVO — Not everyone leaving school at the end of the year graduates or declares for the NFL draft.

For some, it's just time for a change of scenery — a transfer or other movement. We've discussed several BYU football players who have opted for the NFL draft — like running back Tyler Allgeier and center James Empey — and others who have opted to return for another year, like running back Lopini Katoa. You can read about them here.

But others will be looking for another place to play next season, or otherwise moving on from the program.

Let's start with the (backup) quarterback.

Baylor Romney, QB, El Paso, Texas

Romney announced on New Year's Eve that he has played his final snaps for the Cougars. The redshirt sophomore who has played three seasons at BYU finished his final season with 779 passing yards and six touchdowns, including 195 yards on 15-of-23 passing in the Cougars' 31-28 loss to UAB in the Independence Bowl.

Primarily a backup in his time at BYU, the quarterback originally from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico who graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas, departs with 1,793 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air and just three interceptions.

But he's best known as the older brother of wide receiver Gunner Romney, as well as the backup quarterback who stepped into a starting role and knocked off then-No. 23 Boise State 28-25 in his first career start in 2019, when he completed 63.5% of the year's passes for 747 yards and seven touchdowns with just two interceptions.

"The past four years have been filled with ups and downs but I am thankful for the memories I have made and the person I have become while playing football at BYU," Romney wrote on Instagram. "My teammates have become my brothers and I'll miss them the most. I'm thankful for the lifelong relationships I have made. Thank you to all my coaches, family, and friends for your love and support!

"I'm unsure what's next but it's time for me to move on and I'm excited for the next challenge."

Romney's wife Elise, a pole vaulter on the Cougars' track and field team, recently graduated from BYU and recently enrolled in the physicians assistant program at Rocky Mountain University in Provo, according to her Instagram bio. Romney's brother also faces a similar decision — stay or go, with the junior eligible for the NFL draft in April.

Baylor Romney could declare for the draft, as well. But it's more likely that he finds another program — he's already in the NCAA transfer portal, a source confirmed to KSL.com. It's also unclear if Romney plans to continue playing football, though, after a myriad of injuries — most notably head injuries — during his tenure in Provo.

The move clears up a crowded quarterback room at BYU, but only slightly. Starting quarterback Jaren Hall is expected to return for his junior season to a group that also currently includes former four-star recruit Jacob Conover, fellow freshman Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan, Utah transfer Nick Billoups and California-born Rhett Reilly.

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