Three transfers Texas needs to see the most from in 2022

·5 min read

One of the biggest headlines of the offseason for Texas was the amount of talent they inherited from the transfer portal.

Their transfer portal class currently ranks No. 8 according to 247Sports’ rankings, and they may even see their ranking rise a tad should they add another transfer or two. The pressure on these transfers is at an all-time high due to the underperformance that not only last year’s transfers had, but the team as a whole.

In an effort to bolster the roster in 2021, Steve Sarkisian and company took in a handful of transfers that were reserves at powerhouses like Alabama, LSU, and Notre Dame, but it’s fair to say that all but one of the transfers (Ovie Oghoufo) did not perform even remotely close to expectations.

Now granted when Sarkisian took the job it was a quick turnaround so he didn’t have a chance to really scour the transfer portal, but this offseason he took full advantage of the extra time allotted due to the fact Texas missed a bowl game.

He was able to add talent to both sides of the ball, mainly the offense which is huge considering the Longhorns lost a handful of starters. While all the transfers will likely play a huge role in the 2022 season, there are three that Texas absolutely needs to have a big season in order to compete in the Big 12 and beyond. While all of the the transfers brought in will likely have a big role, these three stand out as having season-determining roles.

First, Texas’ top transfer on the defensive side of the ball

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Ryan Watts, Cornerback

As the lone defensive player that Texas has brought in via the transfer portal, Ryan Watts gets the nod here. He comes in to replace Josh Thompson who departed for the NFL, and will get a legitimate opportunity to be the full-time starter for the first time in his college career. He has great size at 6-foot-3, and will likely be tasked with covering the opposing team’s best receiver.

Outside of D’Shawn Jamison, this secondary is relatively inexperienced as even Anthony Cook is at a new position for this season. Watts not only needs to prove he is a playmaker, but he also needs to offer some leadership to help guide the secondary that has three players in new positions. The Longhorns ranked No. 62 in passing yards allowed giving up over seven yards per pass, they will need Watts to be as close to lockdown as possible. Watts will also have to contribute in the run defense and not taking lazy angles like some members of the secondary last season as that is really where the defense struggled.

Next, the Longhorns new No. 2 wide receiver

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Neyor, Wide Receiver

While many would argue that this should be Jahleel Billingsley, we didn’t see Sarkisian rely on the tight ends a ton last season. Also, this offense truly lacked a secondary receiver to Xavier Worthy all year which allowed for defenses to key in on Worthy. The Wyoming transfer, Isaiah Neyor, was absolutely raved about during spring often being described as the standout of the session.

He adds something that this receiver group was missing, at 6-foot-3 with blistering speed and great a jump ball ability he is a true deep threat that allows the quarterbacks take a risk that they likely would only try with Worthy. Neyor also provides a contingency plan for a possible Jordan Whittington injury, as he has been unable to stay healthy his whole career.

Neyor hauled in 44 catches for over 800 yards and 12 touchdowns last season in a very run heavy offense, so the sky should be the limit for him with Sarkisian calling plays. If he can take the attention off Worthy and be a star in his own right, the Longhorns may have one of the most dynamic passing games in the country regardless of who is throwing the ball.

Finally, the transfer with the most pressure

Quinn Ewers
Quinn Ewers

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Quinn Ewers, Quarterback

The former five-star and perfectly rated Ohio State transfer, Quinn Ewers, may be the difference between this Texas team being a decent team or a really great team. We all saw his arm strength in the spring game when he connected with Neyor for a deep touchdown, only adding to the mythical-esque hype surrounding him.

He has yet to be declared the winner of the job, but many think it is only a matter of time. With the poor offensive line infrastructure currently in place, Ewers will need to show he not only can run the team, but make off script plays to keep drives alive. At the college level he has just a few career handoffs under his belt, but now is his time to shine. He wrote a piece in the Player’s Tribune talking about the importance of being a Longhorn, but when the season comes around there is no more time for the idea of playing for Texas, it will be time for the young gun slinger to help resurrect this struggling program. If he wins the job, the whole country will be watching the program and he needs to be ready for the moment.