Texas freshman linebacker DeGabriel Floyd has been medically ruled out for the 2019 season after being diagnosed with stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, coach Tom Herman said Saturday.
Herman said Floyd, an early enrollee who made waves with his energy, will continue to seek treatment and will help defensive coordinator Todd Orlando this season. Floyd was ranked fifth nationally as a recruit at inside linebacker, according to 247Sports, and a was high school All-American.
“We’re going to reevaluate him in January,” Herman said. Hopefully, the coach said, Floyd can return to the field “after nine months of rehab, exercise and no hitting.”
Floyd’s diagnosis is another tough injury blow for the Texas defense. Starting safeties Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns are both out for spring practice. The defensive front and linebacking corps are full of green underclassmen.
As for what Floyd can do, Herman said, “Lot of energy. Really physical guy. Loves contact. He can run. He picks up a lot of slack when balls get on the perimeter.”
Good news for Brown: Derrian Brown, a UT signee from Buford, Ga., continues to make good progress after having surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
The four-star running back prospect was expected to compete for a backup spot behind Keaontay Ingram. Instead, he was fighting for his life throughout February.
“Just talked to his dad yesterday,” Herman said. “He had a procedure to actually put back a piece of his skull that they had removed to alleviate some pressure, and that went well, from what I understand.”
Herman said he thought Brown would be released from the hospital either Friday or Saturday. The coach also wanted to publicly thank former New England Patriots star Tedy Bruschi for reaching out to Brown and providing support. Bruschi suffered a stroke in 2005 but later returned to football.
“He’s trying to get cleared to come to the spring game — I know that,” Herman said. “Physically, they say he’s doing really, really well. Still having a few minor issues with speech, but they’re all very optimistic that will come with time. As of now, they’re optimistic that he’ll have a chance to play football again.”
Thompson doing well: Herman doesn’t usually go in-depth about intrasquad scrimmages, but he said backup quarterback Casey Thompson “probably had his best scrimmage” and praised some of his throws.
“For a guy that is a redshirt freshman, he’s being thrust into this backup quarterback position, I think he’s progressed about as good as you can hope for,” Herman said. “Would you love for him to have the moxie that (starter) Sam (Ehlinger) does at this point? Sure. But being realistic, he’s at if not ahead of schedule.”
Offense wins scrimmage: Herman said his two running backs, Ingram and freshman Jordan Whittington, both had solid performances in Saturday’s scrimmage. The second-team offensive line still needs work, the coach said, and freshman quarterback Roschon Johnson threw an interception to Donovan Duvernay.
“Offense won the scrimmage,” Herman said. “I thought we competed defensively. Just too many big plays in the run game. Too many big runs for the (first-team) defense.”
The Longhorns are entering their final week of spring practice. The team’s annual Orange-White game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
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