It was bad news all around on the personnel front for Texas Wednesday.
During a press conference this evening, head coach Charlie Strong revealed that quarterback David Ash has decided to retire from the game of football due to multiple concussions. Ash suffered yet another head injury in the season opener against North Texas and hasn’t played since.
Strong stated that it was Ash who “actually came up to me and approached me” about retiring from the sport. The decision came after consultation with the UT medical staff, and it was likely the wisest course of action given Ash’s history.
In addition to the issue this year, he also missed most of last year due to a concussion suffered early on in the season. After incurring the original injury Sept. 7, Ash returned two weeks later only to see the concussion symptoms recur and sideline him yet again. In late November, Ash was officially shut down for what little was left of the season. In mid-January, he was cleared by the UT medical staff to resume football activities.
In mid-April this year, Ash broke a bone in his left foot and missed the remainder of spring practice.
“‘There was no way we were going to let you back out on the field,'” Strong said he told Ash.
Tyrone Swoopes, who took over for Ash the past two games, will be the starter still moving forward. As Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted, “[i]t doesn’t appear they want to play freshman Jerrod Heard at all.” Heard was a prized member of Strong’s first Longhorn recruiting class, a four-star signee rated as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country.
In addition to the news on Ash, Strong also announced that defensive tackle Desmond Jackson will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. Jackson, you may recall, was the player responsible for the coin toss kerfuffle prior to the UCLA loss this past Saturday.
Jackson started 13 games the past two-plus seasons at UT.