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Texas LB David Gbenda announces return for 2024 season

The fifth-year linebacker has opted in for one more year in Austin.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Texas at West Virginia Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas Longhorns linebacker David Gbenda is returning to the Forty Acres for a sixth and final season in 2024, the Houston-area product announced on Tuesday, noting that his “job’s not finished.”

The fifth-year senior from Katy Cinco Ranch opted in for the extra year of eligibility remaining thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gbenda appeared in 47 games during his Longhorns career, including 11 starts with eight of those coming this season. Gbenda enjoyed his best season yet with career-highs in tackles (50) and tackles for loss (3.5).

Originally recruited by former head coach Tom Herman’s staff, Gbenda stuck around during the coaching change despite spending time at running back in 2019, and his patience paid off with a Big 12 Championship and a trip to the College Football Playoffs in his final season.

When asked about Gbenda’s decision to not leave the program after Steve Sarkisian took over, the Texas head coach said, “In this day and age of college football I think we’re diminishing and losing the value of perseverance and [David] is a prime example of perseverance. For two years he’s at best a role player...he’s a front-line player for us and a team leader.”

Gbenda’s most impactful game arguably came against No. 3 Alabama, with six total tackles and an incredible high-effort sack in the upset win.

Gbenda’s return will help bolster the linebacker position with Jaylan Ford and Jett Bush departing from Texas along with the loss of inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate. Unless Sarkisian’s staff adds another linebacker from the portal, Gbenda will the most experienced player at the position heading into 2024.