Alfred Collins, DL
From what we know of so far regarding NFL Draft decisions for key Longhorns players early this offseason, the one that is most likely to return to school in 2024 is senior defensive lineman Alfred Collins. Multiple reports on Jan. 3 indicate that Collins is "expected" to return to school for a fifth season while foregoing the NFL Draft for one more year.
Getting Collins back for a fifth season would be a massive boost for defensive line coach Bo Davis and the Longhorns. Texas will likely have two massive gaps to fill along the defensive line with Sweat already exhausting his eligibility and junior defensive tackle Byron Murphy II expected to enter the NFL Draft this spring.
Granted, Murphy still could return to Texas for another season as he has one year of eligibility remaining.
With Collins likely to return to school for another year, it looks like Davis and the Longhorns will have an experienced group in the trenches again in 2024. Collins, junior Vernon Broughton, and senior Trill Carter will be the headlining group of next in line potential breakout studs for Davis in the first year in the SEC in 2024.
Collins, in particular, would be expected to be a top performer from that group. He's got all the talent in the world and was Texas's third-highest-graded defensive tackle this season behind Sweat and Murphy. He was also one of the top five highest-graded defensive tackles in the Big 12 this season.
It makes a lot of sense for Collins to return to Texas for another year after he had the two most consistent and efficient seasons of his collegiate career in the last two campaigns under Sark and Davis. Texas will also get a huge piece back to headline the expected group of starters along the defensive line as the Longhorns get ready to play in their inaugural season in the SEC in 2024.