Three Longhorns Return for Senior Seasons

University of Texas junior DE Cedric Reed (pictured) will return for his senior season.
University of Texas junior DE Cedric Reed (pictured) will return for his senior season.

AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas juniors DE Cedric Reed, DB Quandre Diggs and RB Malcolm Brown will forego early entry into the NFL Draft and return to Texas for their senior seasons, they each announced Thursday.

A first-team All-Big 12 honoree in 2013, Reed had his best season as a Longhorn, starting all 13 games while leading the team with five forced fumbles. He ranked second on the team with 10 sacks, 19 TFL, and 16 pressures to go along with 79 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He combined with Jackson Jeffcoat to make Texas the only school in the FBS to have two players post double-digit sacks. Reed was also one of only two players in the FBS with at least 5.0 sacks, four pass breakups and five forced fumbles during the season (Khalil Mack, Buffalo).

(Also Read: Recruiting Update – Texas Longhorns Football (1-9-2014))

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"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."

Reed has played in 39 career games with 19 starts, amassing 128 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, 29 pressures, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

"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."

Diggs is a two-time All-Big 12 selection who started all but one of the team's 13 games in 2013 and led the team in pass breakups with 10. He also tallied 58 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.

DiggsStayingInTexas"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."

Diggs has played in 39 career games, including 35 starts and has registered 168 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, eight interceptions, 32 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while playing both corner and safety in the secondary. He also has returned kicks for the Longhorns with 27 punt returns for 335 yards (12.4 yards per return), along with 20 kickoffs for 392 yards (19.6 ypr).

"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 a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2013 after rushing 214 times for 904 yards and nine TDs, along with making 17 receptions for 195 yards (11.5 yards per reception) and two TDs. Following an injury to teammate Johnathan Gray, Brown took on more of the rushing load and averaged 105.1 rushing yards over the last eight games (841 total yards).

"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, he 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."


What do you think is says about a player that decides to return for his senior season? Sound off below. 


James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.