Texas Football: CJ Baxter Jr. tabbed an impact freshman to watch in 2023

Cedric Baxter Jr., Texas football
Cedric Baxter Jr., Texas football /

There are a lot of talented underclassmen on campus for Texas football in the midst of spring camp. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian have roughly a dozen new additions to the program among the early enrollees participating in spring camp this offseason.

Among the double-digit number of early enrollees on campus this spring, one that sticks out is the No. 1 ranked running back recruit in the nation in the 2023 class and true freshman CJ Baxter Jr. The former elite five-star Orlando Edgewater (FL) running back recruit is having a solid spring for Sark and the Longhorns.

Baxter has looked the part in spring practice as a running back that will be a big splash playmaker right away for the Longhorns. We’ve heard consistently positive feedback coming out of spring practice this offseason regarding Baxter’s vision and downhill running ability.

It sounds like Baxter is easily going to work his way into the rotation in the backfield this fall, if not eventually winning the starting role at running back outright.

This seems to be a sentiment echoed by Grant Hughes of 247Sports, who included Baxter amid “college football’s 13 impact true freshmen” in 2023. Hughes mentioned in this piece that Baxter “will compete for the starting running back position” after the departure of All-American junior running back Bijan Robinson this offseason.

Texas football RB CJ Baxter Jr. named an impact freshman for the 2023 season

It also sounds like 247Sports’ Josh Pate is high on what Baxter brings to the table for Sark and the Longhorns in 2023.

"“Cedric Baxter was the No. 1 running back in this class. Texas lost some guys, and the guys they do have on the roster have been out at various points, which has given Cedric Baxter time to get some very, very valuable reps in the spring. A guy like him, especially at the position he plays, will be able to transition into college life fairly effectively as a freshman.”"

This spring, Baxter is competing with the likes of redshirt sophomore Jonathon Brooks, sophomore Jaydon Blue, and even sophomore Savion Red for reps at running back. We also shouldn’t forget about redshirt senior running back Keilan Robinson, who is still rehabbing from a lower-body injury he suffered before the start of spring ball.

Baxter can solidify the starting job if he continues to look the part as the most dominant running back in this group during fall camp. His strong performances in spring drills and the last few scrimmages in the past three weeks certainly does nothing but help his case to win the RB1 job this fall.

But nothing will be solidified until at least a few weeks before the start of the 2023 regular season.

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Texas is currently in the midst of the final week of spring camp, with one more practice remaining until the Orange-White Game. Sark, Baxter, and the Longhorns will take part in the annual Orange-White spring football game at DKR on April 15.