Texas Football: 10 portal targets on the Longhorns Christmas wish list

Ja'Had Carter, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Ja'Had Carter, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ja’Had Carter Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Ja’Had Carter Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

Ja’Had Carter, S

Among the actual portal targets for the Longhorns at the moment, the one that the staff seems to be prioritizing the most is the former Syracuse redshirt sophomore safety Ja’Had Carter. The third-year DB is a solid talent that is most often noticed by the hard-hitting nature of his game and his ranginess at the safety position.

Carter could be a plug-and-play candidate that could make an immediate impact at the boundary safety spot that will be left open by the departure of senior Anthony Cook next year.

We’ve already done a breakdown of Carter’s game after he visited Austin last weekend. You can check that out here.

And it’s clear that Carter is a highly coveted portal player given the level of programs that are pursuing him at the moment. Texas and the Ohio State Buckeyes appear to be the top two schools pursuing Carter with the likes of the Tennessee Volunteers, UCLA Bruins, and Oregon Ducks also rumored to have shown interest in the former Syracuse DB.

Truman Jones, EDGE

The three biggest positional needs in the portal entering the 2023 offseason are going to be edge rusher/D-line, wide receiver, and safety. Of those positional needs, the spot where Texas needs to add the biggest impact portal player is edge rusher.

Texas hasn’t boasted a true impact edge rusher that can consistently get after opposing quarterbacks since Joseph Ossai left campus following the 2020 season. And that clearly hurt what this defensive front could do under PK during the 2022 regular season.

Moreover, the best edge rusher available in the portal at this moment is the former Harvard 6-foot-4 and 245-pound redshirt junior Truman Jones. The third-year standout edge player has good length and a vast array of pass-rushing moves in his arsenal. He could be that guy that Texas is looking for to at least moderately upgrade the pass rush next year.

Jones would project as someone that could at least give Texas seven sacks as a buck end edge rusher.

This fall, Jones proved that he has a nose for getting after the quarterback. He had the most productive season of his collegiate career to date, posting eight sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 16 QB hits, and 42 quarterback pressures. Those efforts from Jones earned him All-America Third-Team FCS honors from Phil Steele for 2022.

Next. Position-by-position grades for the 2023 signing class. dark

There was an update to Jones’ portal status earlier this week when he announced his intentions to enter the 2023 NFL Draft. We’ll see if that holds as he’s still listed in the portal by most of the major recruiting services.