The Texas Longhorns reportedly suffered another major loss at tight end on Thursday after sophomore Blake Whiteley tore his ACL in practice on Thursday, according to Horns Digest. Horns247 confirmed the report a short time later.
The news comes less than a day after the NCAA ruled that 2015 signee Devonaire Clarington must retake his ACT, which will at the least delay his enrollment at Texas by a semester. Horns Digest is also reporting that sophomore tight end Andrew Beck suffered a knee injury in practice several days ago.
All told, the losses at an already thin position for the Horns will put more pressure on players like senior Alex De La Torre, freshman DeAndre McNeal, and redshirt freshman Garrett Gray, the only remaining healthy scholarship tight ends on the roster.
None of those players played tight end last year, as De La Torre is converting from fullback, McNeal signed as a wide receiver, and Gray spent his redshirt season working at wide receiver.
The biggest concern is probably in the blocking game because De La Torre is undersized, McNeal is both undersized and inexperienced, and Gray is inexperienced and lacks ideal mass for in-line blocking. So the challenges for new tight ends coach Jeff Traylor just got more much significant and fast development from McNeal much more crucial if Beck misses an extended period of time and Whiteley is indeed out for the season.