Not surprisingly, Holton Hill has indeed played his last down for Texas.
Monday night, Hill announced via a statement sent out by the football program that he has decided “to forgo my senior year and turn my focus towards training for the NFL Draft.” The announcement comes nearly four weeks to the day that UT confirmed the cornerback had been suspended for the remainder of the 2017 season for unspecified violations of team rules.
Below is Hill’s statement, in its entirety:
After careful consideration with my family, I have made the decision to forgo my senior year and turn my focus towards training for the NFL Draft.
The past three years at Texas have been a great learning experience for me, and I appreciate everyone who has helped me throughout my college career, especially Coach Herman, Coach Washington, Coach Orlando and Coach Strong. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to play for such an amazing program at The University of Texas, and I know the values that have been instilled in me and lessons I’ve learned will continue to propel me forward at the next level.
I can’t say enough about the support my teammates have given me. Those guys are going to always be my teammates, and I know that bond will last way beyond our time here at Texas. I also appreciate the great fans, and even though I’m moving on, I’m always going to be a Longhorn. Thank you all for your support, the best is yet to come.
After starting three games last season, Hill had started the first nine games in 2017. At the time of his suspension, Holton was second on the team in tackles (51) and pass breakups (six). That suspension cost him the last three games of the regular season plus a bowl game
Additionally, he scored three touchdowns this year — two on interception returns and one on a blocked field goal. He did all of that scoring damage in the first two games of the season, and became the first player in a decade to have a pick-six and blocked field for a touchdown in the same game.
Hill is also the third Longhorn player to declare for the 2018 NFL draft, joining left tackle Connor Williams (HERE) and defensive back Deshon Elliott (HERE). Both of those two will be skipping UT’s Texas Bowl matchup with Missouri.
The 12th Man is a big, big deal at Texas A&M. In fact, it’s pretty much the brand of not just the football program, but the entire athletics department. Case in point, A&M’s athletics department website is 12thman.com.
For the uninitiated, in 1922 the Aggies found themselves short of players in a football game against Center College, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, after multiple players sustained injuries over the course of the game. Down to just 11 players, A&M student E. King Gill volunteered to suit up and stand on the sidelines in case the team needed him. Gill now has a statue outside of Kyle Field, and A&M’s student section is collectively referred to as the 12th Man.
As such, it’s a tremendous honor for an active Aggie player to be awarded the No. 12 and, after fullback Cullen Gillaspia donned the jersey for a record-tying 39 games, it’s time to hand it off to a new player.
On Tuesday, Jimbo Fisher awarded the No. 12 jersey to Braden White, a walk-on linebacker from Florence, Ala.
“I’m honored just to be able to represent this great university and everything about it,” White said. “It’s a true blessing.”
White is a redshirt junior who has checked all the boxes of a player who checks all the 12th Man boxes. He was named Defensive Scout Team MVP during his redshirt year of 2016 and was honored as the Top Conditioned Athlete at the Aggies’ 2018 team banquet. He has appeared in 18 career games, recording 16 career tackles playing primarily as a special teams contributor.
White will wear No. 12 for the first time next when Texas A&M — ranked, ironically, No. 12 in the preseason AP poll — hosts Texas State next Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).
Until they tell us otherwise, Connecticut is going to try to make it as an FBS independent. This upcoming season will be the Huskies’ final one as a member of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies’ Olympic sports will return to the Big East and the football team will go it alone.
This will require lots (and lots and lots) of scheduling work, and quickly. As of now, the Huskies have four games on the schedule for a season that begins 12 months from now.
While it does nothing to help the 2020 slate, UConn began chipping away at the mountain in front of it on Wednesday by announcing a home-and-home with Boston College. The first game will be Oct. 29, 2022 in Storrs, with the return game going down Oct. 28, 2023 in Chestnut Hill.
The two programs have met 14 times previously; BC leads the series 12-0-2. The Eagles took the most recent meeting 39-16 in 2017.
Additionally, BC announced a 2023-28 home-and-home with Army and a Sept. 9, 2023 home game with Holy Cross.
Penn State safety Johnny Petrishen has left State College for Pittsburgh, where he is now a Panther.
Petrishen announced the transfer on Tuesday evening, and Pitt confirmed his addition on Wednesday morning.
Petrishen has two years of eligibility remaining thanks — if you want to use that term — to two medical redshirts.
A Lower Burrell, Pa., native, Petrishen appeared in 17 career games as a Nittany Lion, including all 13 last season. Primarily a special teams player, he posted eight career tackles and one TFL in State College.
Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.
On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.
As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.
The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack. He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.