Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, a junior from Mansfield High School who earned All-Big 12 honors last season, announced Saturday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Ridgeway, an honorable-mention selection on the 2015 All-Big 12 team, played in 36 games for the Longhorns, with 18 starts, during his college career. The 6-foot-3, 314-pounder finished with 92 tackles, including 18.5 tackles for losses, 9.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. In 11 games last season, he posted 36 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for losses on a 5-7 team.
In a statement, Ridgeway said he discussed his options with family members and coaches before deciding it was in his best interests to enter the NFL Draft. Texas coach Charlie Strong called Ridgeway “a really talented young player whose best years are ahead of him. Though we’re disappointed to lose him, we will continue to support him any way we can.”
Cotton teams settled
Coaches for both teams in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl reported no absentees or issues among their schools’ traveling parties that arrived Saturday, to the best of their knowledge. Both No. 2 Alabama (12-1) and No. 3 Michigan State (12-1) will practice Sunday at AT&T Stadium in preparation for Thursday’s semifinal matchup in Arlington (7 p.m., ESPN) that is part of the College Football Playoff.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said roughly 90 percent of his team arrived together, although players who spent Christmas in Texas and other selected states were given permission to meet the team at its hotel Saturday.
“I have not heard of any issues that we have with any of those guys to this point,” Saban said.
In regard to the Michigan State squad, coach Mark Dantonio said: “Everybody’s in good standing for the game. Got a couple of people coming in late by design, but not many.”