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Football on the 40: Senior Day

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Coach Sark leading the Texas Longhorns. | Image by Kathleen Batten, AP Photo

The tumultuous times continue for the Longhorn football faithful. On an embarrassing six-game losing streak (the longest since 1956), Texas looks to close out the regular season at home this Friday. 

The Kansas State Wildcats come to Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium (11 am on Fox) with quarterback concerns of their own, sitting at 7-4 (4-4) on the season. The Longhorns 4-7 (2-6) are now in ninth place in the Big 12, sitting only ahead of Kansas (who beat Texas at home just two weeks ago).

It would be an understatement to say this is not the inaugural season Coach Sark or Texas fans envisioned. 

Football on the 40 is a group of University of Texas alumni that takes a weekly dive into the Longhorn football season. We discussed this year’s senior day festivities on this week’s podcast, where 29 Longhorns intend to celebrate their careers at Texas and ultimately move on from the Forty Acres.

This number is rather high compared to the 16 athletes participating in 2020 and just 13 in 2019. Could this be the first sign of what is likely to be a massive roster overhaul in the offseason? Football on the 40 seems to think so.  

Below, each of the guys gives a brief perspective on one Longhorn senior they will miss and why.

BOWEN: What a season it has been…we all thought October would be challenging, but November came in full force and ultimately has left us feeling less than pleased with the outcome. However we feel about the season – come Saturday – we should still celebrate everything the seniors have given us throughout their time on the Forty Acres.

With a UT degree in hand and valuable experience under their belt, their futures will undoubtedly be bright as they venture onto the next chapter. The senior I will miss the most is Derek Kerstetter. 

The OL was a popular topic of conversation this season, and Kerstetter, like many of the seniors, had to deal with tremendous coaching turnover (three Offensive Line Coach changes) as well as a devastating ankle injury that cut his 2020 season short.

Despite all of those challenges, he was still a consistent force in an otherwise difficult transition period for the OL. Good luck out there, Derek!

KEVIN: From the group of great players walking for senior day, I will miss BJ Foster the most. BJ hasn’t always been a starter during his tenure at Texas, but he has consistently been featured on the field in an aggressive and physical role in the defensive backfield.

Early on in his career at Texas, he was utilized mostly to rush the passer, and boy did he! As a young player, BJ’s physicality was evident with many big hits and great plays, some of which had him standing on the sidelines waiting to hear if his targeting would get him kicked out of games.

Despite his many penalties, he never let off the throttle when sprinting to tackle. His effort never waned. He played through injuries and always left it out there on the field. Hook’ Em Horns BJ, it has been great having you on our team, and best of luck in your career and life after football on the 40!

ANDREW: “I will remember you…will you remember me?” I can’t say that I will remember a lot of seniors from this class. Nevertheless, like Bowen said, we should celebrate all the seniors and their effort over the past few seasons.

I can’t imagine their daily grind. Assuming that all the seniors celebrating Senior Day are leaving, then I will miss Cameron Dicker the most. Dicker, the Kicker, will always be a legend for how he guided the Horns past the Sooners in 2018 with his last-second kick.

I hope Dicker gets a shot in the NFL, but a degree from the University of Texas will serve him well for years to come.   

JAKE: Grit describes this senior class. They have been through many challenges, coaching changes, and so much drama on and off the field. Sticking with the program through some ups and mostly downs and graduating from the University of Texas, this shows the quality of men that are leaving the program.

To quote our illustrious UT public relations department, for these athletes, “What starts here changes the world.”

Though I personally will miss Cameron Dicker the most (he’s just a great dude and very talented), instead of recognizing him again or another player, I wanted to highlight some of the broad accomplishments of this graduating class.

It’s very easy for us to always hone in on the negative, but there is still a little room for positivity over the last four years. Assuming they were on campus for four years (not more or less), this class has experienced at least three bowl wins (2018 Sugar, 2019 Alamo, & 2020 Alamo).

Though it appears unlikely they will make it to another, that’s not entirely out of the question yet. Outside of the College Football Playoff, the Sugar Bowl is the best Big 12 bowl tie-in, followed by the Alamo Bowl.

I’m not here to say Texas was great, and I am glad our program moved on from Tom Herman to Steve Sarkisian, but this group of athletes found a way to win games they often were not expected to. Class of 2021/2022, thank you for bringing us moments of profound joy. We wish you the best. Hook ‘Em. 

To listen to this weeks’ podcast, click here.