Texas Football: 5 key seniors who could return to UT in 2024

Jake Majors, Texas football
Jake Majors, Texas football /
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Trill Carter, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Trill Carter, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Trill Carter, DL

Defensive line is another position that the Longhorns could lose a lot of valuable experience and production heading into the offseason. Texas expects to lose Sweat, junior Byron Murphy II, and potentially senior Alfred Collins to the 2024 NFL Draft during the offseason.

Sweat and Murphy have emerged as All-American performers for Texas along the defensive line this fall. They are the two-highest-graded interior defensive linemen in the FBS this season. Sweat was even recently named a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.

That is a lot of valuable pieces for the Longhorns to lose up front in 2024 if Sweat, Murphy, and Collins all enter the NFL Draft as expected.

Texas will have to rely on emerging defensive linemen in the rotation, such as the senior and former Minnesota transfer Trill Carter, true freshman Sydir Mitchell, redshirt freshman Jaray Bledsoe, and redshirt freshman Aaron Bryant, to replace the potential losses in the trenches in 2024. Carter is the only one in that group with significant experience at the Power Five level over multiple years.

Of this group of potential returning defensive linemen for the Longhorns in 2024, Carter is also the only one walking on Senior Night on Black Friday. Carter is a fifth-year senior who has emerged as an important part of Texas’ defensive line rotation in Big 12 play as he’s gotten healthier in recent weeks.

Since he’s gotten healthy, Carter has shown what he can do while getting consistent reps (20+ per game) along the defensive line in the last couple of weeks. He’s tied for the team lead in defensive stops (four) with Murphy in the last two weeks, and he’s also forced a fumble in the win over the TCU Horned Frogs on Nov. 11.

While freshmen like Mitchell, Bledsoe, and Bryant have a lot of talent and potential developing under DL coach Bo Davis heading into the SEC in 2024, none of them are proven commodities in live-game action.

When Texas originally brought Carter into the fold from the transfer portal post-spring last offseason, it was with the idea that he would be a two-year player along the defensive line. The 2024 season is when Carter can compete for a starting job at defensive tackle, especially given the rate of development for the Longhorns in the trenches under Davis in the last couple of years.