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Texas OT Sam Cosmi announces return for 2020 season

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The redshirt sophomore will return for his junior season after receiving feedback from the College Advisory Committee.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 LSU at Texas Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger decides to return for his senior season, he’ll have excellent protection on his blind side, as redshirt sophomore Sam Cosmi announced on Monday that he’ll return for his junior season.

The 6’7, 300-pounder did his due diligence before making his decision by requesting an evaluation from the College Advisory Committee.

“We’ve been communicating with him and his parents and done all the research on that and provided him with all the information,” co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Herb Hand said before the Alamo Bowl.

“We’ll see how everything unfolds, but I feel very confident with where Sam’s at from a developmental standpoint. We’ll see how things unfold after this bowl game. I know that’s his only focus right now and once we get through that we’ll progress to the next thing.”

It’s not clear what feedback Cosmi received from the College Advisory Committee, but Cosmi was ranked by WalterFootball.com as the No. 8 offensive tackle among draft-eligible players. However, team sources indicated that they believe Cosmi could become a first-round draft pick by returning for his junior season, which would make him the highest-drafted offensive lineman from Texas since Mike Williams in 2002.

In fact, the only other offensive lineman drafted at all since Tony Hills in 2008 was Connor Williams in the second round in 2018 and Cosmi has a chance to be a better prospect than Williams.

After redshirting as a member of the 2017 recruiting class, Cosmi had a breakout 2018 season at right tackle, where he took over as the starter in the second game and eventually earned recognition as a freshman All-American and honorable mention Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.

With the departure of Calvin Anderson, Cosmi made a seamless transition to left tackle this season and finished as a second-team All-Big 12 selection, ending the decade as only the fifth Longhorns offensive lineman to earn first-team or second-team All-Big 12 honors.

Cosmi even had a chance to show off his athleticism during the 2019 season, as head coach Tom Herman dialed up a trick play for Cosmi against West Virginia — quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw a lateral to Cosmi, who rumbled 12 yards for the touchdown. It was the first rushing touchdown for a Longhorns lineman and the third lineman in Big 12 history to rush for a touchdown.