Malcolm Brown’s reunion tour begins this weekend.
Brown, a junior running back, will start his ninth career game Saturday against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys’ defense boasts a former high school teammate of Brown’s — sophomore Ryan Simmons — among its linebackers.
In 2010, Brown was the leading rusher and Simmons was the leading tackler for a Cibolo Steele team that finished 14-2 and won the Class 5A Division II championship. Oklahoma State freshman safety Jordan Sterns also played a supporting role on that Steele team.
Brown has rushed for 442 yards on 111 carries this season, but his workload should increase because of the season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury suffered by Johnathan Gray.
With 45 tackles, Simmons is tied for third on Oklahoma State’s roster. Sterns has compiled eight tackles in the eight games he’s played.
Simmons and Sterns aren’t the only familiar faces Brown will see this month. Former Steele coach Mike Jinks is in his first year as Texas Tech’s running backs coach, and the Red Raiders will travel to Austin for a Thanksgiving Day matchup.
Gray has surgery: Gray underwent surgery early Wednesday to repair his right Achilles’ tendon, which he injured last week against West Virgina.
Gray, who was leading Texas in rushing and ranked third in the Big 12, will miss spring football, but the Longhorns hope he’ll be ready to play next fall.
“He’s going to come out of this tougher and better than he was going in,” Longhorns coach Mack Brown said. “I don’t think you can put Johnathan on a normal recover (pace).”
Gray won’t be on the sideline for Saturday’s game, Brown said.
Defensive tackle Chris Whaley, whose college career ended Saturday with a left knee injury, will have surgery once the swelling subsides and doctors determine the best course of action.
Brown said former Longhorns tailback Fozzy Whittaker could help Whaley; Whittaker’s senior season ended in 2011 with a serious knee injury at Missouri, but he recovered and now is playing for the Cleveland Browns.
“(Whaley) will handle this,” Brown said. “He’ll get his degree. He’s been very good in school. He is a guy who won’t need football for his future to eat, but I bet you he still plays in the NFL.”
Ticket update: As of late Wednesday afternoon, there were still about 3,000 tickets remaining for Saturday’s game, according to a Texas official.
Don’t forget AP: Alex De La Torre caught the winning touchdown. Case McCoy threw it. Steve Edmond had two huge pass breakups in the end zone during overtime.
There were plenty of heroes last week in Texas’ 47-40 overtime win at West Virginia, but Longhorns defensive coordinator Greg Robinson knows who’s his pick for Texas’ unsung hero — senior safety Adrian Phillips.
When the Mountaineers got the ball in overtime after Texas had scored first, they tricked the Longhorns with a reverse to wide receiver Mario Alford. It looked as if Alford might have been able to score, but Phillips got across the field in time to knock him out at the 5-yard line.
Texas then mounted its goal-line stand, clinching victory on Edmond’s fourth-down interception in the end zone.
“That was huge,” Robinson said of Phillips’ tackle. “That’s one play I don’t know how many people would remember. I thought, really, that (reverse) might go to the house. All of a sudden, I saw AP come from the side and make the play. It was huge.”