The Texas Longhorns suffered another injury in practice, as senior Dalton Santos, the team's projected starting middle linebacker, reportedly went down with an undisclosed injury that the school later confirmed as an ankle injury.
Since Santos will continue to undergo further evaluation, the school did not comment on the extent of the ankle injury.
Early enrollee linebacker Malik Jefferson offered his take on the injury prior to the school's confirmation:
The No. 55, of course, is the one worn by Santos.
Sophomore offensive lineman Jake Raulerson followed up with even more specific regards:
Everyone please pray for my boy @Daltonsantos55 hope you heal quick buddy!— Jake from Statefarm (@JakeRaulerson55) April 4, 2015
The injury to Santos respresents a second significant loss in less than a week after senior cornerback Sheroid Evans, another projected starter, suffered a knee injury that will sideline him for the remainder of spring practice.
After suffering through some nagging injuries and playing behind the departed Steve Edmond in 2014, Santos had only 11 tackles and failed to create any significant disruption beyond two quarterback hurries. This spring, the Van product was hoping to fulfill the potential he showed as a freshman in becoming a fan favorite with tackles on special teams.
While it's impossible to predict the extent of the setback he suffered at this time, losing Santos for an extended period of time has significant ramifications for a defense that doesn't have much experience behind him -- as head coach Charlie Strong pointed out in his press conference to open spring practice, the middle linebacker is the "glue" of the entire defense.
Junior Tim Cole is the back up for Santos in the middle. A start against Iowa State in 2014, but Alex Dunlap of Orangebloods said that he's heard good things about Cole this spring, who also performed well in the spring's opening practice.