Last season’s UVA starting quarterback, Greyson Lambert, announced Saturday on Twitter that he intends to transfer, leaving Virginia with just one scholarship quarterback on the roster heading into the summer.
Lambert, a redshirt junior, will graduate from the University of Virginia this weekend, so he would be able to play immediately at his next school. He had lost his starting job in the spring after a spirited competition with his backup from last season, Matt Johns, who was named by UVA coach Mike London the starter at the end of the spring practice period.
“I would like to thank Coach London, Coach Fairchild, and the rest of the UVA coaching staff for allowing me to play the sport I love and receive my degree from such a wonderful university,” Lambert said in his Twitter announcement.
Lambert called the decision “the hardest decision of my life” in the tweet, and in a message to his teammates said he loves all of them and wishes them “nothing but success.”
Lambert won the starting job over the 2013 starter, David Watford, in the spring of 2014, but didn’t keep his grip on the job past halftime of the Cavs’ season opener against UCLA, getting sent to the bench after throwing two pick-sixes in the second quarter of a 28-20 loss.
Johns, in relief of Lambert, led Virginia back from a 21-3 late second quarter deficit to get UVA to the verge of a big upset over the Top 10 Bruins in that game.
Johns, who had been third on the depth chart coming out of the spring, ended up starting three games in 2014, putting up better overall numbers than Lambert, with a 122.57 passer rating, 54.9 percent completion rate, 1,109 yards, 6.65 yards per attempt, eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Lambert, in nine starts, completed 59.0 percent of his passes for 1,632 yards, 6.25 yards per attempt, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The UVA offense moved better with Johns at the helm. On the 57 drives led by Johns, the UVA offense produced 115 points (2.02 points per drive), with the drives encompassing 321 plays (5.63 plays per drive) and gaining 1,957 yards of field position (34.33 yards per drive). Lambert led 97 UVA drives, on which the offense produced 150 points (1.55 points per drive), with the drives encompassing 541 total offensive plays (5.58 plays per drive) and gaining 2,320 yards of field position (23.92 yards per drive).
London, addressing reporters after the spring game last month, said the decision to go with Johns heading into the fall “wasn’t close.”
The move by Lambert to transfer out comes on top of the decision by Watford to leave at the end of the 2014 season, and the #3 quarterback in the spring, Corwin Cutler, is also transferring, so Johns is now the only scholarship quarterback left on the roster.
– Story by Chris Graham