During the same press conference that Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong announced that former starting quarterback David Ash has given up football after repeated concussions, Strong also revealed that senior defensive tackle Desmond Jackson will miss the rest of the season.
The 6'0, 298-pounder suffered an ankle injury against UCLA last week and left the game. The school said that he will undergo surgery.
Jackson sent out a series of tweets on Wednesday evening:
Hate that this season ended soon but got to be positive. Everything happens for a reason and that's all I can say.— SugaRay Jackson (@tank_texasboy99) September 17, 2014
I'm having lisfranc surgery. All I can do is smile and keep my head up. Get my degree in the spring and bring one more year to the 40 acres.— SugaRay Jackson (@tank_texasboy99) September 17, 2014
Love longhorn nation and I will be back as soon as you can blink... Hook em.— SugaRay Jackson (@tank_texasboy99) September 17, 2014
I'll be back next year.. Hook em— SugaRay Jackson (@tank_texasboy99) September 17, 2014
If there's a silver lining amidst all the injuries, attrition, and suspensions for the Longhorns, it's that Jackson and senior center Dominic Espinosa should be eligible to receive medical redshirts and return next season. Clearly, Jackson is already looking forward to the possibility.
Jackson had been a solid presence in the middle of the Texas defensive line through most of three games, recording 11 tackles, one fumble recovery against BYU, and a quarterback pressure.
His replacement, sophomore defensive tackle Paul Boyette, was steady during his time on the field, recording one tackle for loss among three tackles and recovering the fumble senior linebacker Steve Edmond forced that appeared to firmly swing momentum in favor of Texas late against UCLA.
If Jackson does indeed end up missing the game against Kansas, another sophomore defensive tackle, Hassan Ridgeway, should also see more playing time, though Ridgeway sometimes struggles when he has to play a series of snaps in a row, a concern entering Big 12 conference play.
The Horns have mostly avoided injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but Jackson is a key piece will be missed if he can't play for one or more games.
The good news, however, is that Boyette looks like a contributor for the first time in his career and Ridgeway has already made plays this season.