UT linebacker Malik Jefferson sacks Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer at McLane Stadium in Waco on Oct. 28, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Bohls: Malik weighed the risks and long-term safety and health in choosing to go pro

Posted February 21st, 2018

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Kirk Bohls released this week’s nine things and one crazy prediction. A couple were dedicated to the Longhorns. Here are Kirk’s takes on those items:

On Malik Jefferson’s reasons why he declared for the NFL draft:

Former Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson said he chose to leave school early for the NFL draft even though he said on our “On Second Thought” podcast that he “received a go-back-to-school grade” from the NFL panel that evaluates underclassmen. Jefferson, who led the Longhorns with 110 tackles, said it was “a very hard decision” to forego his senior year but said he heavily weighed the risks of long-term safety and health and thinks he has great potential to move up in the draft after a performance at the NFL combine next month. He said his sprained toe injury that kept him out of the Texas Bowl is “close to 95 percent” healed, and he continues to work out in Fort Worth along with nose tackle Poona Ford.

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UT head coach David Pierce, middle, talks to David Hamilton, left, and Duke Ellis after the UT Alumni Game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday February 3, 2018. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

On this season’s Texas baseball team:

Three games are a very small sample size, but it appears the Texas baseball team may resemble last year’s model with dominant pitching, outstanding defense and suspect offense. Texas hit only .209 against a terrific Louisiana-Lafayette team and scored just nine runs in the three-game series. That doesn’t apply to new second baseman Mason Hibbeler, who had seven hits in the series and played left field Sunday to get his bat in the top four in the order — David Hamilton, Hibbeler, Kody Clemens and Austin Todd — who hit .364 combined. Todd, the hero of Game 2, called Hibbeler “a baller” and “a hitting machine.” Hibbeler excelled at Odessa College, which represented his only offer out of state champion Cypress Ranch High. Asked if he had a long hitting streak at Odessa, he shyly said he got a hit in all 39 games. And what was his batting average? A torrid .493. “I was hitting .507, going into the regional,” he said, “but I dropped down.” Hibbeler loves his new team and said it has “a lot of heart and a lot of scrappy players. One through nine has pop.” Hibbeler even pitched in three games as a freshman at Odessa, but won’t pitch here although he could also see time in center and can play shortstop, too.

For the rest of Kirk’s 9 Things, including his takes on the upcoming Dell match play tourney and Trae Young’s chances of Big 12 player of the year, click here.

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