Texas Football: DL T’Vondre Sweat returning to Longhorns in 2023

T'Vondre Sweat, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/Austin American-Statesman- USA TODAY NETWORK
T'Vondre Sweat, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/Austin American-Statesman- USA TODAY NETWORK /

A day filled with headlines and anxiety for the Texas football faithful saw one key player essentially announce his return to the program for the 2023 season on social media on Dec. 5. Senior defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat took to Twitter to apparently have some fun with the Texas faithful on the afternoon of Dec. 5.

Sweat initially tweeted out “I’m gone” with an orange and white heart on the day of the NCAA Transfer Portal opening on Dec. 5. But he responded with a tweet in that thread soon after, saying that he’s not going anywhere.

I would assume that this means Sweat is returning for the Longhorns in 2023. Sweat was already presumed to be on the fence in terms of whether he would declare for the 2023 NFL Draft or return for another year on the Forty Acres.

Sweat returning for another season would be huge for the Texas defensive line in 2023. That would give key returning players such as sophomore Byron Murphy II, junior Alfred Collins, and Sweat for the 2023 campaign.


With his emergence this fall, Sweat started to emerge as a legit day-two or day-three prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft. Sweat had the best season of his collegiate career to date this fall, registering a career-best 29 combined tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback pressures, three QB hits, 14 stops, four batted balls, and a career-best 79.4 defensive grade.

T’Vondre Sweat’s return boosts the strength of Texas football’s DL in 2023

Sweat was a key cog in this defensive line that emerged as maybe the strongest position group for the Longhorns on either side of the ball this season. DL coach Bo Davis saw a group of three or four defensive linemen including Sweat, Murphy, senior Keondre Coburn, and senior Moro Ojomo emerge as some of the very best at their respective positions in the Big 12 this season.

However, while Sweat improved at a pretty high rate and had the most complete season of his career to date on the field this fall, there is still room for strides he could make to improve his draft stock in 2023. Sweat could still become a more disruptive pass rusher and keep the motor going more consistently in run defense.

If Sweat can make some necessary strides in some of those areas in 2023, he would probably be viewed as a day one or day two-caliber prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft class.

It’s also worth noting that Sweat’s return to the Longhorns in 2023 gets this team back another key starter that could help them make it to the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time under the direction of head coach Steve Sarkisian.

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Sweat helped the Longhorns finish up the regular season with a record of 8-4 (6-3 Big 12) following a Nov. 25 win at home in the regular season finale over the Baylor Bears, by the final score of 38-27. Texas is now readying up to face the No. 12 Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl, which is set to kickoff at 8 p.m. CT on Dec. 29 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.