Senior LB Wyndham, No. 4 on the post-spring depth chart at SAM linebacker, was not expected to play a big role this fall for the Longhorn D. Three solid veterans -- Lee Jackson, Tyrone Jones and Marcus Wilkins -- stood between Wyndham and significant fall playing time. Sophomore TE Ellis, who played sparingly at wideout last season and missed spring ball because of his lingering leg injury, also didn't project as a big contributor this fall despite his position switch from WR to TE. Bo Scaife, Brock Edwards and Mike Jones came out of spring ahead of the injured Ellis at TE.
Both Wyndham and Ellis spoke as if they plan to remain at UT, and in Ellis' case at least, return to the football program.
"I really want to be with my teammates and help the program, but I need to take care of myself first," said Wyndham. "I can't thank the coaches and staff enough for all of their support. They really enlightened me in the way they helped me as a person. I came here to play football and get an education and even if I don't play again, I want to leave here with a degree."
"I'd like to thank my coaches and teammates for all their support, but it is in my best interest at this time to take care of my personal issues and to further recover from my stress fracture," said Ellis. "I wish the Longhorns the best of luck this season and look forward to coming back strong next January."
Of the newcomers who reported earlier this week, only Braden Johnson plays either SAM 'backer or TE, so the loss of Wyndham and Ellis probably won't affect the fall playing status of any of the freshmen. With the depth described above at the SAM spot, Johnson is a likely redshirt candidate or, if he does play, a special teams performer.