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Former Dallas Cowboys running back, now college coach Tashard Choice joining Texas

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has landed his first recruiting win against USC’s Lincoln Riley. 

The Longhorns hired Tashard Choice as their running backs coach even though the former Dallas Cowboys tailback had joined Riley's Trojans staff about a week ago.

Choice removed all USC references from his Twitter account Saturday and added “#Hook’em” to his bio. The school later tweeted a confirmation of the hire about 8:40 p.m. Saturday.

“The more I talked to him, the more I learned how deeply he cares about Texas, and his experience, knowledge and love for our great state is invaluable,” Sarkisian said in a statement. “I’m so excited to have him on board, looking forward to getting him started and fired up that he’s a part of our Longhorn family.”

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Tashard Choice, who played 10 seasons in the NFL, will replace Stan Drayton as running backs coach for Texas. Drayton has been hired as Temple's head coach.

Also in a statement, Choice said, “I have such a great appreciation for the pride and rich tradition of The University of Texas, it’s everything that you could ever want to be a part of. I couldn’t ask for anything more, and I’m so happy to be a Longhorn.”

Choice, 37, was coaching at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, the past three seasons and was considered one of the Yellow Jackets’ top recruiters. He was lured away to USC this month to join Riley’s staff.

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But a vacancy opened at Texas when running backs coach Stan Drayton got the head coaching job at Temple. Drayton was well-respected in the UT program, having worked for two head coaches, and constantly received praise from players such as Bijan Robinson.

More:Temple hires Texas running backs coach Stan Drayton as new head coach

Has Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian finished with offseason changes to his coaching staff? After he hired Tashard Choice as running backs coach, there aren't any official openings. But former TCU head coach Gary Patterson is rumored to be considering joining the staff in some capacity.

Choice spent six seasons in the NFL and played his first three full seasons with the Cowboys. He finished his career with 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Currently, there is no other vacancy on the UT staff, although many fans are itching to learn what might happen with former TCU coach Gary Patterson.

Patterson, who logged 22 seasons at TCU but left the Big 12 school in November, has had talks with Sarkisian about a position. But Sarkisian said Wednesday that Patterson was still surveying his options.

“We have not made any determination on if we would want him here or if he would want to be here,” Sarkisian said.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.