Texas Football: 5 reasons for optimism in 2019 offseason

Texas Football (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Texas Football (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Texas Football
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 01: Collin Johnson #9 of the Texas Longhorns scores on a two point conversion over Tyson Campbell #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

1. Rising seniors foregoing the 2019 NFL Draft to return this season

One of the biggest storylines heading into the off-season for the Texas football program was the abundance of early entrants that could come out for the 2019 NFL Draft. The Big 12 in general had some of the most followed and emphatic early entrants for this draft, including Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Iowa State running back David Montgomery.

The retention efforts for the Horns were actually better for players who had looming NFL Draft decisions than for players with intentions to transfer. Texas is set to get back three of the four players that had important decisions either to return to the program for the 2019 season or declare early for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Of those four players, the three that are returning include wide receiver Collin Johnson, safety Brandon Jones, and linebacker Malcolm Roach. The only of the four to forego his senior year on the Forty Acres and become an early entrant for the 2019 NFL Draft was breakthrough wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Next. Ranking 5 best Texas seniors from 2018 season. dark

Getting Jones and Roach back for the Texas defense for the upcoming season will be very helpful in bringing in a new wave of starters. The defensive line and cornerback spots especially have a lot of roster turnover heading into this off-season. But, getting back those two standout veterans will ease the transition and give the Horns a better shot at having a top defense in the Big 12.