4 Texas underclassmen with most to prove in summer workouts

Which players could prime themselves to hit the ground running entering preseason camp?
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football / Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA
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The summer enrollees arrived on campus for the start of the summer strength and conditioning program early this week for Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian. Eight new enrollees joined a Texas team that is getting up and running with roughly two months remaining until preseason camp.

Texas football begins its first summer workouts heading into the SEC in 2024

The first few days of summer workouts are usually more methodical to shake some rust off before things really start to ramp up next week. Texas also has the opportunity to get some 7-on-7 work in during summer workouts in June and July.

Since the Longhorns had so many new enrollees on campus during spring ball, there aren't many new faces to get ingratiated within the program. But summer workouts are still important for the Longhorns to set the tone on the practice field and in the weight room before the inaugural season of competition in the SEC this fall.

Many returning players for the Longhorns need to really put some work in and get their bodies right entering preseason camp. Here are four underclassmen for the Longhorns who have the most to prove during the summer strength and conditioning program.

Tausili Akana, LB/EDGE

The EDGE position is one of the deepest on the defensive side of the ball for the Longhorns entering preseason camp this year. Texas has a plethora of depth and talent between returning players, portal additions, and high school signees in the 2024 class that have stocked the cupboard full at EDGE.

Texas returns multiple edge rushers from last year's squad, including senior Barryn Sorrell, junior Justice Finkley, sophomore Colton Vasek, junior Ethan Burke, and redshirt freshman Tausili Akana. Sorrell, Finkley, Vasek, and Burke are all either likely or guaranteed to get significant snaps in live-game action this upcoming season in 2024.

It's also likely that the uber-talented true freshman edge rusher Colin Simmons will get early reps this fall.

Akana and true freshman Zina Umeozulu must fight for their spot on the depth chart at the EDGE position in summer workouts and fall camp. The former blue-chip recruit from Hawaii, Akana, needs to make a leap in workouts to solidify his spot on the depth chart in his second year.

The 6-foot-4 and 215-pound Akana still needs to add some weight to get closer to 240 or 250 pounds.