Texas QB David Ash giving up football after repeated concussions
Texas quarterback David Ash has given up playing football after suffering at least one concussion and lingering symptoms over the last year.
Longhorns coach Charlie Strong said on Wednesday that he told Ash "there was no way we were going to let you back on the field."
Added Strong, "His health is our major concern."
Strong said that Ash would remain a part of the program working with the team’s younger quarterbacks.
Ash, a junior, suffered a concussion during the second week of the 2013 season in a game at BYU. That is the only concussion that Ash and the team have acknowledged. He returned two weeks later, against Kansas State, but left that game with what Texas officials called a head injury. He missed the rest of the season.
Ash was determined to return this season, but he acknowledged that there was some concern among family members.
He played in the opener, a victory against North Texas, but experienced headaches and dizziness after the game, Strong said.
Ash missed the next two games. The Longhorns have off this week.
Strong said Ash approached him to discuss the future.
Ash played in 29 games at Texas, starting 22. He ranks seventh in school history in career touchdown passes (31) and eighth in passing yards (4,728).
Sophomore Tyrone Swoopes started the last two games for the Longhorns, losses to BYU and UCLA. Swoopes has completed 44 of 65 passes (67.7 percent) with three touchdowns against one interception. Swoopes completed 24 of 34 against UCLA, including two touchdowns.
"Tyrone played very well," Strong said.
Strong sounds like a coach who would prefer that Swoopes take every meaningful snap for the rest of the season. His backup, Jerrod Heard, is a freshman who has not appeared in a game and is eligible for a redshirt season.
"We’ll go with Tyrone as long as we can unless something happens," Strong said.
Thank you David Ash, you gave your all to the University of Texas. I respect your decision and good luck in the future my brother
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) September 17, 2014
Strong said he did not want to use Heard "just to play him. If he plays 25 snaps for a year, you’ve wasted a year."
The Longhorns lost another starter against UCLA on Saturday. Defensive tackle Desmond Jackson will undergo foot surgery and probably miss the rest of the season, Strong said.