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Tom Herman holding OT Brandon Hodges and DL Marcel Southall out of practice for academic reasons

In addition to injuries, two players are struggling in the classroom.

Brandon Hodges

The Texas Longhorns aren’t taking any chances with players struggling academically this spring, as head coach Tom Herman announced on Thursday that redshirt freshman defensive lineman Marcel Southall will miss practice time to focus on school work.

Southall joins sidelined senior right tackle Brandon Hodges, who missed last weekend’s scrimmage and continues to sit out of practice.

A 6’3, 300-pounder from Duncanville, Southall enrolled late at Texas due to issues related to his academics in high school, so his ability to remain eligible has been a concern since his arrival.

Since Southall was near the bottom of the deep defensive line group, his loss is not an immediate concern. However, missing Hodges could have a greater impact on the team, especially if his academics don’t improve — he was starting with the first group at right tackle before his grades slipped to the point that the staff decided to hold him out of practice.

Senior Tristan Nickelson is now working with the first-team offensive line at right tackle, with sophomore Denzel Okafor pushing him for playing time.