A couple of weeks before the NCAA Transfer Portal window officially opens on Dec. 4, Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian is already monitoring the pulse on his own team and what’s going on around the college football landscape. He’s not placing a huge emphasis on the transfer portal with Texas still in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff and a clear path to the Big 12 Championship Game.
But it’s wise of Sark to know what’s going on in the new world of NIL and the transfer portal in college football (and college sports as a whole).
"Sark said he wasn’t “burying his head in the sand” about the potential of current Longhorns entering the portal. He said he felt like some attrition would only be natural given the current state of college football."
One rival program on the recruiting trail that is bound to have some potential transfers the Longhorns can poach in the portal this offseason is the Texas A&M Aggies. Texas A&M fired head coach Jimbo Fisher a couple of weeks ago.
Since Texas A&M fired Fisher, the portal window for the Aggies is already open. Texas A&M players have a 30-day transfer window that started once Jimbo was fired on Nov. 12. But that carries through the start of the original December portal window.
Possible Texas A&M transfers Texas football could target in this portal cycle
As Texas A&M begins what is sure to be a lengthy coaching search late this fall, we anticipate heavy roster attrition for the Aggies heading into next offseason. Texas A&M already lost three players to the portal in the last month, including one since Fisher was let go on Nov. 12. And plenty more big names from the Aggies will be expected to enter the portal in the month or so.
Here are three potential Texas A&M transfers the Longhorns should target in the portal heading into the 2024 offseason.
Bryce Anderson, S
Most of the Texas A&M players on this list have not entered the transfer portal as of the writing of this article on Nov. 21. This is a hypothetical idea of which Texas A&M players Texas would be interested in if they were to enter the portal in the wake of Fisher’s departure in College Station this fall.
If Texas had an open poaching season in the portal of any Texas A&M player they wanted on defense, sophomore safety Bryce Anderson would be one of the most intriguing names. Anderson is a first-year, full-time starter at safety for the Aggies this season. Yet, just because he was a first-time starter at safety for the Aggies doesn’t mean Anderson didn’t have high expectations entering this season.
Anderson immediately impacted the Aggies’ defense as a true freshman last season. He led the team in fumble recoveries and ranked second among Texas A&M safeties in defensive grade last year while being named the 2022 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Anderson has lived up to the hype this season as a first-year starter in the secondary. He leads all Texas A&M starting DBs in defensive grade, coverage grade, combined tackles, and defensive stops this season.
If Anderson did hypothetically enter the portal this offseason, he would be one of the more highly sought-after transfer safeties with Power Five experience.
Texas would also make a lot of sense in that hypothetical situation were Anderson to enter the portal.
A position of need the Longhorns are sure to address in the portal this offseason is safety. Texas is likely losing senior safeties Jerrin Thompson, Kitan Crawford, and Jalen Catalon after this season. And the Longhorns need an impact safety to join true freshman Derek Williams Jr. as the projected starters in the secondary in Texas’ first year in the SEC in 2024.
Anderson also has relationships with key coaches on the Texas staff, namely safeties coach Blake Gideon and cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph. Gideon and Joseph recruited Anderson for the Longhorns as a four-star prospect from Beaumont (TX) West Brook High School.
Austin is also close to home for the Beaumont, TX, native Anderson.