Apparently being a Texas safety in the Baylor game was just as painful as watching the Texas safeties, the ones not named Kenny Vaccaro, that is. The university announced on Tuesday that senior Christian Scott underwent wrist surgery that will end his career, while fellow senior Blake Gideon's streak of starting every game as as Longhorn could be in jeopardy after fracturing his left hand.
Scott returned from his three-game suspension for a pre-season assault charge to help fill in for Nolan Brewster, who had to give up football after multiple concussions, and turn in some of the more solid performances of a mostly uneven career. In fact, Scott's legacy will probably focus more on his off-field issues -- the assault and a season missed to poor grades -- than his play on it.
A well-considered prospect out of high school, Scott's highlight moment probably came in 2008 replacing Gideon against Kansas, when he spoke to some potential with a couple hard hits against the back who knocked Gideon out of the game, current defensive end Toben Opurum, a fellow Texas product himself. Unfortunately, as time went on Scott's lack of explosiveness and inability to change direction sunk most of that potential.
As for Gideon, well, suffice it to say that there's a element of the fanbase pushing for Gideon to go gently into that dark night. He'll be wearing a cast, but if he's able to play, it seems likely that he'll be out on the field for the first snap to keep that starting streak alive. As well he deserves.
The good news is that he can't tackle any worse with a cast, right? Right? And before you bring that comment, consider that Gideon had four tackles and seven missed tackles against Baylor. That's a simple, stone-hard fact that says everything you could possibly want to say right now.
A bigger story here -- and the long-term positive for the Longhorns -- is that the loss of Scott means more reps at safety for likely replacement Adrian Phillips. The trickle-down effect during the 15 practices, essentially the equivalent of another spring practice, should help the development of freshman Mykkele Thompson, everyone's favorite alternative for the Wildcat. Sorry folks, Akina found that dude and recruited him to Texas. An actual winning evaluation. Guy's not one to cross on something like this, yanno?
The future for Texas at safety may not be now, but it's definitely closing in. It's a future with a little more speed (okay, a lot more speed) and a little more agility as well. As long as that future can line up correctly, the athleticism should take care of most of what remains.
Doesn't that make for a brilliant tomorrow?