Texas may have a transfer problem

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Sophomore defensive tackle Calvin Howell talks to a pair of teammates during Texas’ 21-10 win over Cal in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl last December. Howell was arrested for marijuana possession Jan. 29 and decided to transfer last week.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Although the Longhorns have been celebrating signing one of the best recruiting classes in the country, the team will be losing defensive tackle Calvin Howell. Howell made the decision to transfer and has not named where he will be going. Since the beginning of the season, transferring seems to be pretty common for Texas football players.

Head coach Mack Brown said “personal reasons” were the cause of Howell’s decision to leave Austin. But, it seems very coincidental that he was arrested on Jan. 29 in San Marcos on charges of marijuana possession. Howell was charged with a Class B misdemeanor. According to a San Marcos Police Department blotter, he was arrested for possession of less than 20 oz. of marijuana at 4:44 a.m.

Defensive tackle is not an area where the Longhorns are lacking depth. Junior college transfer Brandon Moore, who recently signed with the Longhorns, will definitely be important for the team as they try to replace Howell. In addition, five-star recruit Malcom Brown will be playing in the fall. Defensive tackle Kheeston Randall will be graduating, leaving the Longhorns with a lot of different personnel on their defensive front. But, the defense will remain solid with a lot of backup options, even without Howell. Texas had the best defense in the Big 12 last year, and losing Howell will not change that.

But, what happens if this transferring trend continues?

Quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Connor Wood, running back Traylon Shead and linebacker Tariq Allen are all leaving Texas behind. Sophomore wide receiver Darius White left the Longhorns after having just six catches and one touchdown during his two seasons in burnt orange. White had very high expectations when he signed with the Longhorns. Wide receivers Greg Timmons and Chris Jones also made the decision to leave Texas.

But, Howell was different from most of these transfers. He was on the field. A lot. He started seven games in 2011 and played in all thirteen games. He finished the season with 16 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. He was a four-star member of Texas’ 2009 recruiting class and the No. 7 player at his position in the country.

Although the cause of Howell’s departure from Texas is unclear and is potentially caused by his arrest, his leaving raises concerns about transferring from Texas and out of the football program. Although the Longhorns signed 28 athletes in the class of 2012, there is still the question of how many will actually stay.

Transferring is normal for college athletes, especially with a program that is rebuilding. But it seems that there is a trend with big names leaving Texas behind for other schools. Garrett Gilbert left for SMU. Connor Wood went to Colorado. Traylon Shead went to Navarro Junior College. Although the loss of Howell will not be devastating to the Longhorns’ thriving defense, athletes transferring is becoming too common for the Longhorns.

Printed on, February 7, 2012 as:Recently arrested Howell latest to transfer