Texas Football: 3 players the Longhorns must retain from the portal in 2023

Jaylan Ford, Texas football
Jaylan Ford, Texas football /
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Jahdae Barron, Texas football
Jahdae Barron, Texas football /

The storylines surrounding the NCAA Transfer Portal are largely dominating the college football landscape at the moment, and Texas football is no exception to that. Texas has already seen roughly a dozen players enter the transfer portal upon the window opening earlier this week (Dec. 5).

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns have mostly done well, though, to prevent potential returning starters and key players from entering the portal heading into the offseason. Most of the Longhorns players that are testing the waters in the portal right now were likely going to get buried on the depth chart continually next year.

A good portion of the Longhorns players that entered the portal in the 2023 class weren’t even a part of the two-deep depth chart for much of the 2022 regular season. Thus, it makes sense why they’re seeking a change of scenery in 2023.

The work is not done yet for Sark and the Longhorns as the 2023 offseason approaches. There are still some key players that the Longhorns could lose to the portal if the proper retention efforts and pitches aren’t in place heading into the offseason.

Standout Texas football players that the Longhorns must retain in 2023

With that in mind, here’s a look at three key Longhorns players that Sark and his staff must retain from the portal in 2023.

Jahdae Barron, DB

We’ve already talked a little bit in the last week or so about the possibility that other teams try to make a run at standout junior defensive back Jahdae Barron in the transfer portal with various NIL offers entering the offseason. And this would not be the first time that other teams tried to get Barron to enter the portal with some appealing NIL offers.

Last offseason, we saw Texas manage to fend off some other Power Five suitors that were trying to entice him to leave the Longhorns. And it sounds like much of the same will go down in the next few weeks, even up to a couple of months.

But I think Texas has done a nice job of keeping Barron firmly focused on the task at hand on the Forty Acres. Barron never officially entered the portal last offseason. And a lot of the momentum that was seemingly carrying him toward a possible portal decision entering the upcoming offseason has slowed in the last few days.

It will still be worth watching to see what Barron’s status is with the Longhorns as the offseason approaches. For the time being, though, it looks like Barron is intent on having a big outing in the Alamo Bowl for the Longhorns against the Washington Huskies on Dec. 29.

Barron should be a staple in Texas’ secondary in 2023, as he would be the starting nickelback next season.