Texas Football: 4 early transfer targets for Longhorns next offseason

Eric McAlister
Eric McAlister /
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Thor Griffith, DL

A top defensive lineman to enter the portal this fall from the FCS ranks is the former Harvard Crimson senior defensive lineman Thor Griffith. The First-Team All-Ivy League selection in 2022 entered the portal on Nov. 24 after spending four years at Harvard.

Griffith only got to play three seasons, though, since the Ivy League canceled the 2020 football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, Griffith still has eligibility remaining as a graduate transfer in 2024.

The 6-foot-2 and 320-pound Griffith was consistently one of the top players among the Ivy League defensive linemen in the last three seasons. He was the highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the Ivy League in 2021 and 2022. And he was the second-highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the Ivy League this season.

Since defensive line is a noted position of need for the Longhorns to address in the portal this offseason, pursuing Griffith makes a lot of sense. Griffith could help Texas replace what they are losing in the trenches with potential All-Americans T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy II, who are expected to depart for the NFL Draft next offseason.

The Harvard grad transfer could help Texas fill the voids regarding the interior pass rush and run stopping up front with Sweat, Murphy, and senior defensive lineman Alfred Collins likely headed to the NFL after this season.

Griffith is a proficient pass rusher who lives to collapse the pocket. He can also two-gap and blow-up plays in the backfield to anchor the interior defensive line in run defense. Griffith is the only interior defensive lineman in the Ivy League to lead in quarterback pressures and run stops multiple times since 2021.

It’s rare that you find a standout interior pass rusher and run defender who has the size and proven production of Griffith during his time at Harvard in the last three seasons.

Griffith reportedly told The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman this week that he “would like to play for Michigan or Ohio State” at his next stop out of the portal in 2024. But it’s still worth Texas at least testing the waters to gauge Griffith’s interest in playing for the Longhorns next fall, given the positional need and immediate impact he could have in the trenches for Bo Davis.

But if Texas doesn’t act fast in this portal recruitment, Griffith will likely find other appealing destinations in 2024 since he will get an abundance of Power Five interest. Griffth is the top-ranked transfer player in the portal right now, according to the On3 transfer portal rankings.