Junior defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, who finished the 2015 season with 36 tackles, including 3.5 sacks, has informed Texas coaches he plans to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, sources tell HornsDigest.com.

Texas coach Charlie Strong dubbed Ridgeway, who redshirted as a freshman, "Green Mile" in 2014 because Ridgeway initially was more of a gentle giant at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds.

But Ridgeway began coming to life in 2014 under Strong and D-line coach Chris Rumph, posting 43 tackles, including six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. In 2015, Ridgeway was a preseason All-Big 12 candidate. But a lower back injury caused him to get off to a slow start.

Ridgeway didn't start the first three games of the season. But in his first start of 2015 against Oklahoma State, Ridgeway posted a sack and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown.

In a 24-17 win over Oklahoma, Ridgeway posted his second sack of the season. Ridgeway posted a sack against Iowa State and a half sack against Texas Tech, a game in which he suffered an ankle injury that caused him to miss the final game of the season against Baylor.

The projected starters at defensive tackle for Texas in 2016 figure to be Poona Ford and Paul Boyette with Chris Nelson also vying for playing time and Alex Norman possibly coming back from a medical redshirt season.

Horns Digest Top Stories