Even though the Texas Longhorns are set to face off against the Washington Huskies on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinals, head coach Steve Sarkisian’s program isn’t immune to players entering the NCAA transfer portal since the December transfer window opened on Monday.
As of Thursday afternoon, five players either entered the NCAA transfer portal or announced their intentions to do so.
Here’s how the current roster matrix looks:
Current Texas roster matrix
|Cedric Baxter Jr.
|DeAndre Moore Jr.
|Anthony Hill Jr.
|Lance St. Louis
|Left program/In transfer portal
|Edge Kris Ross
|S Jalen Catalon
|CB X’Avion Brice
|OL Sawyer Goram-Welch
|S BJ Allen
|WR Casey Cain
- The Texas portal players are redshirt sophomore wide receiver Casey Cain, redshirt junior offensive lineman Sawyer Goram-Welch, redshirt freshman cornerback X’Avion Brice, senior safety Jalen Catalon, and redshirt freshman safety BJ Allen. Of those players, Catalon was the only contributor this year, but given his extensive injury history and the fact that he fell out of safety rotation after recovering from a leg injury this season fully softens the blow of his departure.
- Redshirt freshman edge Kris Ross left the program in late October, but has not entered the transfer portal. He’s not currently counted against the scholarship numbers here.
- Texas has four super seniors who have exhausted their eligibility. Junior defensive tackle Byron Murphy accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, effectively amounting to a declaration for the 2024 NFL Draft. Other draftable players with a COVID year of eligibility remaining include senior wide Jordan Whittington, senior defensive tackle Alfred Collins, senior linebacker Jaylan Ford, senior nickel back Jahdae Barron, and senior cornerback Ryan Watts. Of those players, Collins faces the biggest decision about whether to return to school — the others are expected to declare for the draft.
- Redshirt junior Jake Majors is a December graduate who received recognition on Senior Night, but told Burnt Orange Nation afterwards that he hasn’t made a decision yet on his future. Consider him likely to return.
- A handful of other players also have COVID years available — senior running back Keilan Robinson, senior wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, who did not walk on Senior Night, senior defensive tackle Trill Carter, senior linebacker David Gbenda, senior safety Jerrin Thompson, and senior safety Kitan Crawford.
- Draft-eligible players who could declare for the draft include redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers, junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy, junior wide receiver AD Mitchell, and junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. Getting any of those players back for another season would be a bonus for this Texas program.
- The Longhorns currently hold 20 commitments in the No. 10-ranked recruiting class with a handful of targets still remaining on the board, including Waco Connally defensive back Kobe Black, who is set to decide next week, McKinney safety Xavier Filsaime, who is currently committed to Florida, but plans on taking an official visit to Texas, new Magnolia athlete offer Hunter Andrews, a Utah pledge, and a handful of defensive lineman, several of them committed to other schools.
- Texas has a number of needs in the transfer portal with some of those needs contingent on pending decisions by players with decisions to make about the NFL Draft or whether to use COVID years, but the likely number of takes is somewhere between five and seven. A number of targets are already emerging.