Texas Longhorns linebacker David Gbenda has decided to return for a sixth and final season in 2024, making use of the extra year of eligibility granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made by the fifth-year senior from Katy Cinco Ranch, emphasizing that his “job’s not finished.”
Gbenda has been a consistent presence in the Longhorns’ lineup, appearing in 47 games throughout his career, including 11 starts, eight of which came in the most recent season. In the 2023 season, he achieved career-highs in tackles (50) and tackles for loss (3.5).
Originally recruited by former head coach Tom Herman’s staff, Gbenda demonstrated patience and perseverance through coaching changes, including spending time at running back in 2019. His dedication paid off with a Big 12 Championship and a trip to the College Football Playoffs in his final season.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian commended Gbenda’s commitment to the program, highlighting the linebacker’s journey from a role player to a front-line player and team leader. Gbenda’s decision to stay with the Longhorns after the coaching transition reflects the value of perseverance in college football.
One of Gbenda’s standout performances came against No. 3 Alabama, where he contributed six tackles and a notable sack in the upset win. His return for the 2024 season is expected to strengthen the linebacker position, especially with the departures of Jaylan Ford and Jett Bush, along with the loss of inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate. Gbenda, unless additional linebacker acquisitions are made, will enter the next season as the most experienced player at the position.