The Longhorns lose their star running back, who will undergo surgery.
Concerns that Texas Longhorns redshirt sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks suffered a torn ACL on Saturday in Fort Worth against the TCU Horned Frogs were confirmed by the school on Sunday afternoon with the announcement from Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian that Brooks will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.
“We’re heartbroken for Jonathon,” said Sarkisian. “He was having a fantastic season and leaves a void that needs to be filled. But we know he will continue to be an invaluable leader on our team, helping us prepare as we move forward in our mission this season. I know he’ll work extremely hard in his recovery, get back to full speed as soon as he can, and we will be there by his side supporting him through all of that.”
Brooks was injured on a tackle early in the fourth quarter and reacted immediately, crawling to the sideline before receiving attention in the medical tent and limping off the field.
The injury ends a phenomenal season for the 6’0, 207-pounder from Hallettsville, a breakout campaign during which Brooks answered one of the team’s looming question marks by replacing Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. Brooks didn’t begin the season as the starter, a role taken by freshman CJ Baxter, but injuries to Baxter allowed Brooks to take over the starting role and he never looked back, finishing the season with 1,139 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries (6.1 ypc), currently ranked sixth in the FBS in rushing yards and seventh in rushing yards per game (113.9 ypg). Out of the backfield, Brooks added 25 catches for 286 yards and one touchdown.
In rushing for 104 yards against the Horned Frogs, Brooks totaled at least 98 rushing yards in the last eight games with a rushing touchdown in six games, including three multi-touchdown performances.
Baxter, who carried the ball 18 times for 61 yards against TCU and has 87 carries for 390 yards and three touchdowns while battling injuries, is expected to step in as the starter with sophomore running back Jaydon Blue likely becoming the backup.
For Brooks, the injury provides a significant complication to his potential future plans — he’s considered the top draft-eligible running back in the 2024 class, but the recovery timetable from his torn ACL wouldn’t allow him to work out during the pre-draft process, increasing the odds that Brooks returns for a fourth season on the Forty Acres. Even in that scenario, though,