<
>

Texas TE Harris done for season

Texas has lost its third tight end to a season-ending injury in less than a month.

The school announced on Wednesday that sophomore Ian Harris is out with a neck injury.

Harris joins Blaine Irby (dislocated kneecap) and D.J. Grant (knee surgery) who have both been lost for the Longhorns in the last several weeks.

Harris appeared in three games last season for the Longhorns with one catch for seven yards. But he was expected to see more playing time because of the Longhorns' other injuries at the position.

Texas football trainer Kenny Boyd said that Harris' injury was the recurrence of a neck stinger.

"I've been dealing with the stinger for a while, and each time I came back it would happen again," Harris said. "After talking to the team doctors, we decided it would be best for me to take this year off, rehab and focus on getting healthy. It's frustrating, but injuries are part of the game."

Harris was a heralded recruit who came to Texas as a prep All-American, but he has been dogged by injuries throughout his career.

"Ian has worked hard to try to get out there and help this team, but injuries have prevented him from doing that," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We're disappointed for him that he keeps having setbacks and is going to miss the season. He's a great kid. We know he'll work with the trainers to get healthy and hopefully get back on the field."

Greg Smith has lost 30 pounds in order to be quicker with his move back to tight end after playing on the offensive line last season. Other potential candidates for the position include converted defensive end Ahmard Howard, freshmen Trey Graham and Barrett Matthews.

Smith started four games for the Longhorns last season after Irby's injury. The Longhorns started their final four games in 2008 with a lineup that featured four wide receivers.

Tim Griffin covers college football for ESPN.com. You may contact him at espntimgriff@yahoo.com.