Texas Football: 4 former Longhorns transfers to watch during bye week

Hudson Card. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Hudson Card. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ja’Quinden Jackson, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Ja’Quinden Jackson, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

With No. 9 Texas football being on a bye this week, the fans on the Forty Acres have many other college football games to watch on Oct. 14. One way to pass the time during Texas’ bye week is to follow former UT transfers in action with their new teams.

The NCAA Transfer Portal helped head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns assemble the talented and deep roster they’ve amassed on both sides of the ball for the 2023 season. Texas added key transfers during the 2023 offseason such as former Georgia junior wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, Minnesota senior defensive lineman Trill Carter, and Arkansas senior safety Jalen Catalon.

Notable former Texas football transfers to watch during the bye this weekend

To make room for these transfer additions for the Longhorns, Sark and the staff had to see some players depart from the squad in the last couple of years.

The transfer portal is a two-way street. But it often works out for the better, at least in the last few years, for the Longhorns to see some of the players depart that have left to get more playing time or more advantageous situations at other schools.

With that in mind, here are four former Texas transfers to watch this weekend during the Longhorns’ bye week.

Ja’Quinden Jackson, RB (Utah)

Since transferring from Texas to join the Utah Utes in 2021, the former four-star Duncanville quarterback/athlete recruit Ja’Quinden Jackson has emerged as a standout for head coach Kyle Whittingham in the ground game. Jackson converted from quarterback to running back last season for the Utes.

He broke out with over 500 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns for the Utes last season.

Injuries have hampered Jackson’s production and efficiency out of the gates this fall, but he’s been effective when he gets a heavier dose of carries. Jackson’s biggest game this season was the only contest he’s gotten over 15 carries when he rushed for nearly 130 yards and 6.8 yards per carry in Utah’s Week 2 win on the road over the Baylor Bears.

Jackson and the Utes had an up-and-down start to the season, largely thanks to an abundance of injury issues on offense. Utah is down fellow former Texas quarterback transfer and senior Cam Rising for the entire season thus far. Freshman Nick Johnson has taken most starting reps at quarterback in Rising’s absence.

Utah will look to keep up its winning ways (4-1, 1-1 PAC-12) this weekend at home against the Cal Golden Bears, with the kickoff time set for 2 p.m. CT.