Ehlinger, who was a four-year starter for the Longhorns, made the announcement with a video on Twitter.
Dear Longhorn Family pic.twitter.com/JPLIfN7dix— Sam Ehlinger (@sehlinger3) January 3, 2021
He leaves ranked second in school history to Colt McCoy in career completions, passing yards, total offense, passing touchdowns and touchdowns responsible for.
Before Texas' win over Colorado in the Valero Alamo Bowl, Ehlinger had said he was undecided on whether to return for a fifth season or enter the NFL draft. That was before the school's decision to fire Tom Herman, which they did on Saturday. Texas hired Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as Herman's replacement. Sarkisian said on Saturday that he hoped to speak with Ehlinger in case the quarterback was open to returning in 2021.
"He's somebody that I'd be remiss not to try to keep around," Sarkisian said. "So definitely, there's a phone call coming. But, you know, we'll see. He's got a personal decision to make."
Ehlinger had the option to return in 2021 under a blanket waiver that the NCAA provided to all players, which allows them to compete this season without it counting against their eligibility because of circumstances stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
Ehlinger, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, is ranked No. 10 among quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL draft class, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. Ehlinger missed the second half of the Alamo Bowl win with what Herman called a shoulder sprain.