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Texas OG Denzel Okafor to undergo season-ending surgery

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The sixth-year offensive lineman was carted off the field against TCU following a lower-leg injury.

Texas v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The college football career of Texas Longhorns super senior offensive guard Denzel Okafor may be over with the Lewisville product set to undergo season-ending surgery next week, head coach Steve Sarkisian said during his weekly Monday press conference.

Okafor left Saturday’s game against TCU on a cart after he suffered a lower-leg injury when he was rolled up on by a Horned Frogs player, but Sarkisian declined to specify what specific injury Okafor suffered.

“Unfortunately, really liked where he was at from a leadership standpoint and thought he had been playing better and better week in and week out,” Sarkisian said. “So we’ll move forward without him.”

When Okafor left the game, super senior right tackle Derek Kerstetter moved to left guard, replacing Okafor, and redshirt freshman Andrej Karic entered the game at right tackle. Texas didn’t miss a beat in the running game, finishing with 272 yards on the ground at 5.1 yards per carry, and the Longhorns did not give up a sack after Okafor’s injury.

A consensus four-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class, Okafor is one of the few players remaining from the Charlie Strong era. He’s started 19 games in his Longhorns career with 53 appearances, including nine starts in 2020 before missing the Alamo Bowl and five starts this season.

If Okafor does want to return for a seventh season on the Forty Acres, he could apply for a medical redshirt, but since Saturday’s game marked Okafor’s fifth appearance this year, the NCAA might not grant the waiver. It’s too early to know whether Okafor would even want to pursue an additional season of eligibility — he’s already been on the Forty Acres for six years.

In other injury news, senior cornerback Josh Thompson will be available against Oklahoma after missing the TCU game with a concussion, Sarkisian said.