Ridgeway declares for NFL draft

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Then-sophomore defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (98) tracks down a UCLA player in Texas' 21-17 loss to the Bruins at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 13, 2014. Ridgeway announced he was declaring for the NFL Draft on Dec. 26, 2015.
Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Junior defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway is forgoing his senior season at UT and entering the 2016 NFL Draft, per a press release from the athletics department.

“My teammates and coaches mean a lot to me,” Ridgeway said. “Everything that’s happened at UT has helped me, that includes my teammates and coaches, and everything they’ve done has helped me to get to this point.”

HornsDigest first reported Saturday that Ridgeway would likely declare for the draft. Ridgeway and the program made the news official later Saturday afternoon.

“We appreciate everything he’s done for Texas, and though we’re disappointed to lose him, we will continue to support him any way we can,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “We wish Hassan the best.”

Ridgeway played 11 games last season and started eight before missing the finale against Baylor with an injury. The junior amassed 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. Ridgeway redshirted his freshman year in 2012 and played from 2013-2015. He played 36 total games in his Longhorn career and tallied 92 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

“My career as a Longhorn has been very important to me, and I really appreciate coach [Mack] Brown for giving me that opportunity,” Ridgeway said. “I spent four years there and wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone to UT. I wouldn’t change that for anything.”