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January 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Connor Cree leaves UW program

Wahington defensive end Connor Cree smothers Idaho State running back Xavier Finney on Sept. 21at Husky Stadium. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

Washington defensive end Connor Cree smothers Idaho State running back Xavier Finney. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

Connor Cree, a reserve defensive lineman out Sammamish’s Skyline High School, has left the program “by his own choice,” UW announced this afternoon.

As a third-year sophomore in 2013, Cree was credited with 11 tackles, including one sack, in 12 games.

UPDATE: In a phone interview, Cree said he informed new coach Chris Petersen of his decision last week.

“When I talked to Petersen, the thing I really wanted to emphasize is that my decision had nothing to do with the coaching change,” Cree said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year.

“It was definitely a tough decision,” he added. “I definitely gave it a lot of thought. I talked to a lot of friends and family members about it … and, to be honest with you, I was just kind of burnt out. I lost passion for the game.”

Cree said he will remain enrolled at UW and continue to pursue a sociology degree.

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