Jalen Catalon, S
The aforementioned senior safety Catalon practiced for the Longhorns on Monday, according to Sark’s press conference. Texas needs Catalon back in the mix after he’s missed the last three games due to a leg injury he suffered in the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 7 against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Catalon is a valuable piece in this secondary, especially with a safety rotation that has struggled to consistently hold up in pass coverage in Big 12 play. Texas safeties have allowed more yards per target in pass coverage than any other safety group in the Big 12 this season and the second-highest completion percentage (per SIS Data Hub).
It would be an especially big boost for the Longhorns’ secondary if they could get Catalon back for the TCU game this weekend. Texas is facing the former Arkansas Razorbacks offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who is now in the same role at TCU, this weekend. Catalon faced Briles’ offenses in practice for three years at Arkansas, so he should be familiar with TCU’s schematics and play style.
There also isn’t a substitute for what Catalon brings to the Texas secondary regarding his physicality, football instincts, and ability to contest space. He’s a smart playmaker that could be a huge boost to Texas down the stretch this season as this team pushes for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington on Dec. 2.