What Jaylan Ford’s return means for Texas in 2023

Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford is putting the NFL on hold, announcing his return to college football for his senior season. The news of Ford coming back is massive for the Texas defense entering 2023.

Ford’s breakout junior campaign was one of the critical reasons for Texas’ three-win improvement this season. He led the defense with 119 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Texas is losing a couple of key leaders from the defense such as DeMarvion Overshown, D’Shawn Jamison and Keondre Coburn. Ford is a prime candidate to step up into their leadership role.

Ford’s experience and presence will do wonders for the young linebackers Texas has coming in. Guys like Anthony Hill, S’Maje Burrell and Liona Lefau now have the opportunity to learn from the senior-to-be.

The talent and production Texas have returning next season makes them a favorite to win the Big 12 Conference and potentially compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

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Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire