Vanderbilt QB Robinette gives up football to focus on med school

Patton Robinette, who suffered a knee injury and concussion last season, cited injuries as one reason to give up football.

Christopher Hanewinckel/Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt quarterback Patton Robinette has decided to end his football career early to concentrate on medical school.

Robinette, a junior, said in a statement released by the school he informed his teammates of his decision Friday morning after letting Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason know on Thursday. Robinette said his history of injuries contributed to his choice.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make," Robinette said. "This team means the world to me and I love playing football more than anything. It’s been tough coming to a decision that is right for my family and (me), and protects my health and future.

Robinette plans to enter the Vanderbilt School of Medicine this summer to study orthopedics.

"I’ve been very deliberate in coming to this decision," Robinette said. "it’s difficult, but I’m really excited to move forward to the next chapter of my life and really to see what the field of medicine has in store for me."

Robinette was Vanderbilt’s most experienced quarterback and was expected to compete for the starting job. His departure leaves Wade Freebeck, Johnny McCrary, Shawn Stankavage and Kyle Shurmur as the remaining candidates.

Robinette who opened last season as Vanderbilt’s starter before being hampered by injuries. He sprained his knee in the season opener and later sustained a concussion that sidelined him for six weeks.

In two seasons, Robinette went 89 of 155 for 1,096 yards passing with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 277 yards and nine touchdowns, including a game-winning 5-yard score with 16 seconds left in a 14-10 victory at Tennessee in 2013.

"Patton Robinette is one of the most fierce competitors that I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach," Mason said in a statement. "He’s been a winner on every level and a guy that others looks to for leadership."