Three Longhorns to Return for Senior Seasons

Three Longhorns to Return for Senior Seasons

Texas's defensive line received a huge lift this week when first-team All-Big 12 defensive end Cedric Reed announced that he was returning to school for his senior year.

Cedric Reed gives Texas a chance to put together one of the best defensive lines in the Big 12 with the continued emergence of defensive tackle Malcom Brown. Had Reed elected to go pro, the Longhorns would have had to start over at defensive end, thanks to the graduation of Jackson Jeffcoat, also an All-Big 12'er this past season.

Reed started all 13 games, making 68 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, finishing in the league's top four in the latter two categories. He also tied for the Big 12 lead with five forced fumbles. Reed and Jeffcoat (13.0 sacks) combined to make Texas the only school in the FBS to have two players with double-digit sacks this season.

Reed was also one of only two players in FBS with at least 5.0 sacks, four pass breakups and five forced fumbles, with Khalil Mack of Buffalo, a projected first-round pick, being the other.

"After talking to my family and friends, I think it's in my best interest to come back next year and help my teammates and the coaching staff keep building the program," Reed said. "I think I can fit into Coach Strong's scheme well, and I'm looking forward to having a great senior year under him, while I can also finish my degree."

"Coach Strong is a very passionate guy who knows a lot about football and knows a lot about the game," Reed said. "He wants to build on everything we have here, and I want to be a part of that as a senior."

Reed wasn't the only Longhorn to announce his return this past week. Cornerback Quandre Diggs and running back Malcolm Brown will also be back to finish up their careers in Austin.

"This will be fun, it will be different for sure, but I want to come back," Diggs said. "I want to have a full year healthy and this will hopefully be my first spring to be that way in two years. I'm looking forward to winning a lot of games and getting my degree. I'm just looking forward to being a senior leader and getting this thing back on top.

"Coach Strong is a great guy," Diggs said. "I can tell he's serious about winning and wants what's best for the program and wants what's best for the players. He's going to shoot straight, let you know how it is and let you know what you have to do."

Brown was selected to the Big 12's second team after rushing 214 times for 904 yards and nine touchdowns and catching 17 passes for another 195 yards and two more touchdowns. After starter Johnathan Gray was knocked out for the season with an Achilles injury, Brown took over the lead role, averaging 105.1 rushing yards over the last eight games.

"I wanted to come back and try to have an even better season than I did this past year, plus I can graduate." Brown said. "I wanted to experience Coach Strong and see what he has for us, and I feel like we're going to have a good year. We have a lot of guys coming back. We had a pretty strong 2011 (recruiting) class, and I want to come back and enjoy my senior year with all of them. We all have to wait our turn to be complete senior leaders, and it's our time now. I feel like we have an abundance of leaders in this class, not just me. It's going to be exciting."

For his career, Brown now ranks 17th all-time at UT with 1,970 rushing yards to go along with 18 TDs on 447 carries, while making 34 receptions for 324 yards and three TDs.

"I talked to Coach Strong on the phone, and he just wanted to let me know that we were going keep building everything," Brown said. "I saw him during the press conference on TV, and he seems like he's ready to go and is really passionate about everything he's doing."

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