Texas S DeShon Elliott skipping bowl game, heading to NFL

Texas safety DeShon Elliott returns an interception for a touchdown against Baylor in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte)

One of Texas’ best defensive players isn’t playing in the team’s bowl game.

Safety DeShon Elliott announced on the team’s site Thursday that he’s heading to the NFL and skipping the Longhorns’ postseason game.

“It was a very difficult decision that I put a lot of thought into,” Elliott said in his statement. “I want to thank my coaches and teammates for the support and all they’ve done to make an impact on my life. I really appreciate [former coach Charlie] Strong giving me the opportunity to play and grow as a player and person at Texas. [Current coach Tom] Herman has been amazing, and I’m really excited about what he’s building here. I know that Longhorn football is in good hands.”

Elliott was Texas’ second-leading tackler in 2017. He had 63 tackles and 8.5 of them were for loss. He also led the team with six interceptions and had nine pass breakups. His departure for the bowl game leaves Texas without two starters in the secondary. Defensive back Holton Hill was suspended for the rest of the season earlier in November because of a violation of team rules.

Monday, offensive lineman Connor Williams said he was skipping his senior season and immediately prepping for the draft. There have been rumblings that defensive end/linebacker Malik Jefferson will do the same, but Jefferson said earlier in the week that he hasn’t decided what he’s doing yet.

Jefferson was Texas’ leading tackler in 2017.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!