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The future of Texas’ football program is falling squarely on the shoulders of Steve Sarkisian’s first full recruiting class.
The program experienced far too much attrition from the 2018 and 2019 classes, as an overwhelming amount of players from both classes are either non-contributors, or they have left the team.
This gave Sarkisian and his staff a tall task of being limited with what they were able to do this season, and they have already made plans to take in a larger than normal amount of scholarship players for next season.
Sarkisian told the media this week that he wants to take in 33 new scholarship players next season, which means he and his staff are accounting for some attrition in order to make room for those extra scholarship spots.
The team needs have become glaringly obvious throughout the season, as it has been the same position groups underwhelming and not living up to expectations.
While many people may question why recruits would even want to attend Texas, the Longhorns can offer immediate playing time, NIL opportunities, and the title of being “the team that brought Texas back.” When that finally does happen, whether it be under this staff or not, the team that is able to do so will go down in history.
Now, it is just a matter of keying in on their position of needs, and bringing in the players that have the talent to make long-term impacts. Here are the five position groups that Texas needs to purse the hardest in order to see improvement come next season.
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While selfishly the team would like for DeMarvion Overshown to stay another year, if it were to make sense for anyone on the roster to declare for the NFL draft, it would be him. Texas seems to have a rising star in Jaylan Ford, but they should not be sold on Luke Brockermeyer long-term.
There are multiple high level transfers with the productivity that can greatly help out, unlike the group of unproven transfers they took in last offseason that haven’t been able to make much of an impact. Brockermeyer is a solid player, but if they can find someone that can be more productive, it will only boost this defense.
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Texas needs a major face-lift when it comes to their pass rush and their ability to stop the run. Outside of Alfred Collins and Ovie Oghoufo, the pass rush has not been consistent at all. After bringing in multiple graduate transfers that were expected to fill the Joseph Osssai void, it simply has not happened. There are four players tied at two sacks, which is the highest mark on the team. This group has been decent, but they are often pushed around by teams that should not be throwing them off the line as much as they are.
Bo Davis has hit the trail extremely hard, and has already accumulated seven commits across the line. It would not surprise me if the Longhorns grab a few more via the portal, or if they add another recruit or so. The way this line has been gashed on run plays, and lacks the ability to generate pressure is inexcusable, but the large amount of reinforcements should help.
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Outside of Xavier Worthy, not a single player in this position group has proven that they can be a consistent contributor, or in the case of Jordan Whittington and Troy Omiere, have not proven they can stay healthy. Brenen Thompson was a fantastic get for Texas for the 2022 class as he has the chance to make a Worthy like impact his first season in college, but Texas still needs a more consistent third and fourth guy.
Texas still may be in play for five-star Evan Stewart, but he has received a crystal ball prediction to Texas A&M, which does not bode well for the Longhorns. There will also be some opportunities to snag someone out of the portal, like Mycah Pittman from Oregon who announced Wednesday he is no longer with the team and is expected to transfer. It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback if the receivers around him cannot make plays. Right now, every spot except for Worthy’s should be up for grabs.
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After starting the season thinking they had two starting caliber quarterbacks, it is unclear if Steve Sarkisian even thinks the quarterback of the future is on the roster. Both Hudson Card and Casey Thompson have been majorly inconsistent at times, and have made costly mistakes in this five-game losing streak.
Texas already has Maalik Murphy committed for the 2022 cycle, but he has been viewed as a developmental project so to expect him to come in and start right away might be asking too much. The Longhorns have also been connected to current USC commit Devin Brown, and there is a chance that he could flip to Texas. He seems much more college ready in comparison to Murphy, but perhaps their answer will come via the transfer portal. There is expected to be a huge intake in experienced quarterbacks hitting the portal this offseason, and Texas has a very good chance to land a game changer that can perform at a much more consistent level.
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The worst and most inconsistent group on the team, the offensive line, badly needs an abundance of reinforcements. They are the root to most of the offensive struggles we have seen, as quarterbacks have no time to get passes off and are forced to throw too quickly, while the running backs are often met in the backfield and need to force a missed tackle before even passing the line of scrimmage.
As it currently stands, Texas has two offensive line commits in the 2022 class, and whether they reach into the transfer portal which already is full of experienced lineman, or they land big names like Kelvin Banks, Devon Campbell, or Kam Dewberry, it would not be surprising if there is a new starter at every position across the line next season.