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Texas OT Desmond Harrison to return in 2015?

The biggest addition to the Longhorns offensive line next season could be a player already on campus.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

By the middle of the season, Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong knew what was coming every Monday and eventually just addressed the question himself.

"There's no update on the status of Desmond Harrison," he would say.

During Tuesday's Texas Bowl press conference, Strong said the same thing, presumably regarding the possibility of the senior offensive tackle playing against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Harrison was suspended during the summer for an unspecified violation of team rules, briefly reinstated after the opener against North Texas, then suspended once again within hours. The 6'8, 313-pounder managed to avoid being dismissed, as was former starter Kennedy Estelle, but he was never able to earn his second reinstatement of the 2014 season.

The continued absence sparked questions about whether Harrison would redshirt and return in 2015. According to Chip Brown of Horns Digest, Harrison is redshirting, will be back, and is "excited about next season."

And no wonder -- he would be competing against junior college transfers, a player who was at defensive tackle during the start of fall camp, and a guy called "No Contact At All" by his head coach.

There's never been any question about the NFL upside of the Contra Costa CC transfer -- he was rated as the No. 1 junior college offensive tackle by 247Sports -- it's been about whether he could master the technique of the position and stay out of trouble.

With a redshirt season under offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Wickline, it's not hard to imagine that the technical aspects of Harrison's game have improved and his continued presence on the team indicates that he's following the directives of his head coach -- otherwise he would be gone already.

Continuing his apparent good behavior over the next eight and a half months isn't guaranteed. Neither is contributing if he is on the team next season.

But with Houston Westfield offensive tackle Toby Weathersby no longer a member of the 2015 class and both of the junior college prospects rated as consensus two-star recruits, Harrison represents the best chance of finding a starting tackle who didn't play in 2014.

Maybe, just maybe, there's a happy ending to the story of Desmond Harrison at Texas.