3 biggest portal whiffs for Texas football this spring

Defensive tackle was the focal point of emphasis for Texas during the spring portal window.
Damonic Williams
Damonic Williams / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian utilized the NCAA Transfer Portal to add more experienced and proven players at positions of need on both sides of the ball than we saw them use last offseason. Texas added 11 players from the transfer portal since the start of the winter window this offseason.

Biggest portal misses for Texas football during the spring window

The transfer portal will not only play a big role in how the Longhorns roster shapes up for the 2024 season, but also how many of their opponents will look this coming fall. Many top SEC programs have their choice of the highest quality players in the transfer portal in this day and age of college football.

It's also noteworthy that many of the top players Texas pursued in the portal this offseason were portal recruitments that had its rivals on the field and the recruiting trail involved too. Rival schools in the area like the Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies, and LSU Tigers competed in many of the same portal recruitments that Texas was in.

Hindsight isn't the most fun way to look at the transfer portal, but it can help in context for which teams upgraded their rosters that the Longhorns face on the field this upcoming season. Here's a look at three of the biggest portal misses and where those transfer targets ended up this offseason.

Jay Toia, DL

Destination: Returned to UCLA

Senior defensive tackle Jay Toia was one of the top targets in the spring transfer portal for the Longhorns. Toia played for new Texas co-DC/LB coach Johnny Nansen earlier in his collegiate career with the UCLA Bruins.

Toia had originally followed Nansen to UCLA after he had signed with the USC Trojans out of high school a few years ago.

The 6-foot-3 and 325-pound grad transfer defensive tackle was looked at as a guy who could give the Longhorns quality snaps playing the zero-tech as an anchor in this interior defensive line rotation this coming fall. Texas needed proven guys who could play in the middle of the defensive line this upcoming season in the SEC.

Toia ultimately decided to return to UCLA for the final year of his collegiate eligibility after talking to some other programs in the portal this spring.