Texas football saw two players enter the NCAA Transfer Portal early this week on the first day of the December window opening. Dec. 4 was the first day of this transfer cycle for underclassmen to enter the portal. The first two Texas players to enter the transfer portal on Dec. 4 were senior safety Jalen Catalon and redshirt freshman cornerback X’Avion Brice.
Brice was the first Longhorns player to enter the transfer portal for underclassmen on the first day of the December window. He is a former three-star recruit and late-cycle flip in the 2022 class from the Oklahoma Sooners. Brice played two seasons at Texas, taking limited defensive snaps at corner. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
Who could enter the transfer portal next for Texas football after S Jalen Catalon?
Meanwhile, Catalon was a more significant contributor to the Texas secondary this fall. Texas landed Catalon out of the transfer portal last offseason after he spent four seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
But Catalon was limited by injuries throughout his time at Texas and Arkansas. In five seasons, he missed roughly three dozen games due to injury issues. He was limited down the stretch this season for the Longhorns due to multiple nagging injuries.
Catalon could still have at least one or two years of eligibility if he gets an injury redshirt.
It’s noteworthy that Catalon and Brice are reportedly (per Inside Texas) allowed to stay with the team to participate in the postseason despite entering the transfer portal on Dec. 4. That comes with the asterisk that any players remaining on the team that have entered the transfer portal don’t distract from team activities this postseason.
Here’s a prediction of the next Longhorns player to enter the portal after Catalon and Brice on Dec. 4.
Juan Davis, TE
Tight end is a position the Longhorns could target in the transfer portal to upgrade this room during the offseason. With special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks and the Longhorns likely losing All-Big 12 junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders to the NFL Draft next spring, this staff needs to find an answer for the starter at the position in 2024.
Texas does return fellow junior tight end, Gunnar Helm, next year. And it should get true freshman Will Randle back in the fold after he missed this season due to a knee injury he suffered during his senior year in high school.
But Texas won’t have any proven tight ends in live-game action on the roster next season outside of Helm. And Helm isn’t the receiving threat that Sanders poses from the tight end position.
Another tight end Texas has with some live-game experience, but limited snaps at that, is junior Juan Davis. The former three-star recruit has played over 100 live-game snaps for the Longhorns this season. But most of those snaps have come on special teams or as a blocker in garbage time action.
Davis hasn’t blossomed into the receiving threat he showed he could be in flashes during his recruitment out of high school during his time in Austin so far. He’s struggled to climb the depth chart while multiple other tight ends have passed him on the two-deep in the last few years.
If Davis does return to Texas for the 2024 season, it will be his fourth year on campus. And if he’s not able to win a starting job next year, that will be the fourth consecutive year he hasn’t made progress on the two-deep.
It’s also noteworthy that Davis is one of the final remaining holdovers among the recruiting classes from the Tom Herman era on the Forty Acres. Davis wasn’t originally recruited to Texas by the current staff.