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

Jake Majors, Texas football
Jake Majors, Texas football /
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Jalen Catalon, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jalen Catalon, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Jalen Catalon, S

Neyor and senior safety Jalen Catalon are two players on this list for the Longhorns who are walking on Senior Night but could return for another season with a medical redshirt. Neyor technically still has eligibility left without using a medical redshirt since he hasn’t played four games this season. But he could utilize that if he stays in college for more than one more season.

Catalon is in a similar situation where he could utilize the four-game redshirt rule or the COVID year to get another year of eligibility at the collegiate level. While he has been in college for five years (four at Arkansas and one at Texas), Catalon saved two years of eligibility with the four-game redshirt and the COVID year.

Applying for a medical redshirt could theoretically get Catalon multiple years of eligibility remaining at the collegiate level.

But that’s not the important part of Catalon’s decision whether he’ll return to college for another year. Injuries have decimated Catalon’s collegiate career, as he’s played one full season in his five years between his time at Arkansas and Texas. That one season was back in 2020, and he was a Second-Team AP All-Ameircan.

When healthy, Catalon is an impactful playmaker at the safety position, capable of performing at an All-American level. Unfortunately, Catalon hasn’t been on the field much for the Longhorns down the stretch this season. He’s only played a handful of defensive snaps in one game against Iowa State since the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 7 in Dallas against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Catalon also re-aggravated a shoulder injury after taking just six defensive snaps in the win over Iowa State last weekend.

If Catalon decides he wants to play another season in college and he feels like there is a path to him getting healthier heading into the 2024 campaign, he would be a valuable part of an SEC secondary for Texas. But that is a big risk for the Longhorns and Catalon, given his spotty injury history.

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