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Texas LB Dalton Santos out for season, but wants to return in 2016

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The Longhorns could have some significant experience returning at linebacker next season.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

After undergoing ankle surgery last week, Texas Longhorns senior linebacker Dalton Santos will miss the entire 2015 season, reports Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman.

Santos will graduate in May, but wants to return for one final season by taking a medical redshirt this year, even though he'll likely spend his time behind Malik Jefferson, who is now the team's starting middle linebacker and recorded 9 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss during his debut against Notre Dame last Saturday.

Originally expected back some time in mid-July, Santos was limited through fall camp, raising questions about his availability this season, with some rumors that he could need a redshirt season to fully recovery, concerns that now appear well-founded.

A consensus four-star prospect and top-10 inside linebacker out of Van in the 2012 class, Santos developed a reputation as a strong special teams player early in his career and started one game as a freshman. In 2013, he moved into the starting lineup for seven games and finished fourth on the team with 74 tackles. However, the 2014 season saw Santos struggle to stay healthy or earn playing time behind Steve Edmond, so he only made 11 tackles and no disruptive plays (tackles for loss, sacks, interceptions, or forced fumbles).