With only four days left before the start of the 2013 college football season, Texas suddenly finds itself without a major contributor in the middle of its defensive line.
Senior defensive tackle Ashton Dorsey has transferred out of the program, Mack Brown confirmed Tuesday. Brown did not specify Dorsey's transfer destination or offer any other comment on the situation, per the Associated Press.
Dorsey's decision could be related to the Longhorn depth chart issued by Brown this week, which saw Dorsey excluded from the team's two-deep for their Saturday season opener against New Mexico State. Dorsey has struggled with a calf injury throughout camp.
But despite that issue, it was hard to see Dorsey not making an impact by the time the season was done. Despite only playing in nine games and starting two in 2012, Dorsey still finished third on the team with 10 tackles-for-loss -- an accomplishment made all the more impressive for coming at defensive tackle. Many expected Dorsey to win a permanent starting job coming out of spring.
Further compounding the damage for Texas is that Dorsey's absence may force redshirt freshman Hassan Ridgeway into the tackle rotation.
The good news is that Malcom Brown* looks ready for a breakout sophomore campaign after a productive true freshman season, and that senior Chris Whaley and junior Desmond Jackson should be able to man the other tackle position without much trouble. Still: penetrating defensive tackles don't grow on trees, and the 'Horns may come to miss Dorsey before all is said and done.
*As opposed to Longhorn junior tailback Malcolm Brown. If you've forgotten, yes, in the span of two years Texas recruited blue-chip players named both "Malcolm Brown" and "Malcom Brown."