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Physical Texas S Brandon Jones will return for his senior season

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The two-year starter wants to finish out an already impressive career.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A Texas Longhorns defense that needs to reload just kept a huge piece, as safety Brandon Jones will return for his senior season, he announced Thursday on Twitter:

“I got really good feedback from the NFL, but with my injury I felt I had more to prove not only to myself, but to my team as well,” Jones said in a statement released by the school. “I see where this team is headed and I want to be a part of something great. Getting my degree from The University of Texas was a huge thing to both myself and my mom, and I know that will take me further in life than football. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity to play at such a prestigious level and want to finish what we’ve started.”

Jones returns to the Texas defense after holding down the safety spot for most of the season, save for the four games he missed due to injury. In spite of that, he finished the season with 70 tackles — No. 4 on the team — including 5.5 for loss and two fumble recoveries.

Perhaps the most important thing Jones brings to the table for the Texas defense is maturity and experience. The Longhorns are losing eight starters on that side of the ball due to graduation. Texas will replace its entire defensive line, two of three linebackers, both corners and the nickel back. If Jones returns, he brings with him 23 starts and will be one of two members of the defense with double-digit starts — the other is fellow safety Caden Sterns, a Freshman All-American in 2018.

So as Tom Herman and the Texas coaching staff looks to replace the vast majority of its 2018 defense, they will at least have the back end anchored.