Jahdae Barron, DB
Among the best cover DBs we’ve seen in the last decade on the Forty Acres, senior nickelback Jahdae Barron had another great season at Texas during the 2023 campaign. Barron was arguably Texas’s best and most consistent cover DB this season.
Barron has been excellent in multiple phases of the game on defense for the Longhorns in the last few seasons. His play recognition and diagnosis are lightning-quick, which speaks to his high football IQ.
Even though he technically has a year of eligibility remaining, Barron is expected to enter the NFL Draft this spring as a potential Day 2 or early Day 3 pick.
Jerrin Thompson, S
Senior safety Jerrin Thompson had an up-and-down season for the Longhorns. He had some big turnovers and plays in the secondary that were game-changers for the Longhorns this season. Thompson helped seal victories in non-conference play for the Longhorns with a couple of late picks against Alabama and Wyoming.
But Thompson was also picked on over the top with the deep ball this season. He was slow to close in coverage, and it cost the Longhorns at times against some of the better passing offenses they faced (i.e., Washington, Kansas State, and TCU).
While Thompson does have a year of eligibility remaining, it feels like Texas is ushering in a new era for this secondary, specifically at the safety position. Texas signed the highest-rated DB class in the nation for the 2024 cycle.
That elite group of DB signees is highlighted by the five-star Florida flip Xavier Filsaime, who can immediately compete for starting reps this spring.
Between Filsaime, rising sophomore Derek Williams Jr., and potentially redshirt senior Ryan Watts (assuming he returns to Texas and switches positions), Thompson could find it difficult to get in the safety rotation next season at Texas.