The Texas Longhorns will lose another highly-ranked offensive lineman with a Tuesday evening report from Orangebloods that sophomore Darius James will transfer from the program. Horn Sports confirmed the news a short time later and James himself provided further substantiation that he has received his unconditional release.
A former consensus five-star prospect, James was the highest-rated member of the 2013 recruiting class as the No. 34 prospect, the No. 1 offensive guard, and the No. 5 player in Texas. His future looked uncertain ever since head coach Charlie Strong said during the spring that he wasn't with the team for academic reasons.
The 6'4, 304-pounder appeared in six games during the 2014 season, including starts at right tackle against Baylor and Oklahoma before he fell out of favor and didn't play against Iowa State. An injury to starting right guard Kent Perkins forced him into action against Kansas State, but he didn't play in the next game against Texas Tech, then suffered a knee injury that ultimately caused him to miss the rest of the season.
James likely won't be the only offensive lineman to leave this spring, as Inside Texas reported in late April that redshirt freshman Alex Anderson will transfer after losing reps to a walk on during the Orange-White game. There haven't been any further updates on Anderson since then, but if Anderson leaves too, he would become the fourth offensive linemen to leave the program since last fall, joining fellow transfers Rami Hammad and Curtis Riser.
The loss of James further decimates the once-heralded 2013 offensive line class, which featured James, Hammad, highly-rated junior college offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, junior offensive guard Kent Perkins, and sophomore offensive lineman Jake Raulerson. Since Harrison is no longer in the program after he was suspended all of last season, Perkins and Raulerson are the only remaining members of that group with the transfer of James.