The summer semester begins at the University of Texas-Austin this week, meaning that it’s the time of the offseason for Texas football when summer workouts are set to begin. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian will get summer workouts underway after welcoming roughly a dozen new additions to the program among the summer enrollees this week.
This group of new additions to the program features a lot of talented guys that can make an immediate impact on the Longhorns this fall, including senior defensive lineman transfer Trill Carter and five-star Louisiana safety Derek Williams.
But there are a host of other Longhorns players that must make strides in the weight room, in 7-on-7 team drills, and in the film room during the summer before the hype can start truly building for the fall. Texas has a host of under and upperclassmen that must make some necessary strides before they’ll be in the best spot to compete on the field this season.
Texas football upperclassmen that need to make the biggest leap forward this summer
With that in mind, here’s a look at three upperclassmen with the most to prove in summer workouts for the Longhorns.
Kitan Crawford, S
One of the big risers during the spring for the Longhorns was senior safety, Kitan Crawford. The 5-foot-11 and 200-pound fourth-year safety legitimately proved during spring camp that he was deserving of a spot on the two-deep at the position heading into the fall.
But Crawford still needs to make the most of this momentum he built during the spring to hold off challengers such as the aforementioned Williams, redshirt freshman BJ Allen Jr., and redshirt freshman Larry Turner-Gooden in terms of the competition at the position.
The weight room is not necessarily where the biggest focus for Crawford should be during the summer, at least in terms of where he needs to improve the most. And while I’m not saying that getting down to work in summer workouts isn’t important for Crawford, he should be primarily focused on finding his role and getting a better understanding of the defense in the film room and in 7-on-7 work.
Crawford’s issues in the last few years were never due to a lack of physical ability. He is one of the fastest players on the team and one of the best raw athletes among all the defensive backs for the Longhorns in 2023.
The biggest issues Crawford has faced in the last few years are due to a lack of consistency in coverage and an overall lack of understanding of where he needs to be on the field at all times. Seeing Crawford out of place and taking poor approaches when tackling the ball carrier in space are consistent issues that have limited his potential throughout his collegiate career thus far.