Texas junior quarterback David Ash will not play the rest of the season and will seek a medical redshirt, school officials said Monday.
Ash has been recovering from a head injury he suffered in the Longhorns’ win over Kansas State on Sept. 21. He will have two years of eligibility remaining if he is granted a redshirt.
“He’s upbeat and he’s a competitor. I know he wants to play again,” coach Mack Brown said.
“He’s gotten better each week. But I think he’ll go maybe eight days and then have some symptoms pop up. … We’ve all decided that it’s best for him not to play and to get a fresh start in the spring.”
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For the first time in his career, Ash entered this season as the unquestioned starting quarterback. He piled up a career-high 441 total yards and scored five touchdowns in a season-opening win over New Mexico State, but suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Texas’ 40-21 loss to BYU the next week.
Ash missed the following weekend’s game against Ole Miss, but returned for the Longhorns’ Big 12 opener against Kansas State. Just before halftime, Ash was hit hard on an 11-yard run by Wildcats linebacker Blake Slaughter. He finished the drive but has not played since.
“When things were getting hectic, David always had a way of settling everybody down,” senior guard Mason Walters said. “With concussions, for me, I expect it with the guy hitting me every play. That’s the unfortunate thing about David. He gets hit in the backfield or even on those scrambles, he’ll stop to make a move and someone comes from behind with him not expecting it. That’s the tough thing about quarterbacks and why it’s important to protect them.”
Coming off an inconsistent yet promising sophomore season, Ash passed for 760 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 152 yards and another score in three games this year. He is expected to be fully healthy by the time spring practice begins next year.
“Though he’s made a lot of progress, we have not been able to clear him to return to competition,” head trainer Kenny Boyd said. “We’ve visited with David and his family and are all in agreement on his not returning to action as the best next step in his recovery. We will continue to treat him and watch his progress closely and expect this will allow him ample time to return to full health and participation for the spring season.”
Texas hosts Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.