Texas football lost a huge part of its defensive coaching staff this week. The LSU Tigers hired Texas defensive line coach Bo Davis to fill the same role in Baton Rouge on Jan. 10.
This is the second defensive coach on head coach Steve Sarkisian's staff at Texas that has left for another job early this offseason. Texas also lost co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Jeff Choate, who filled the head coaching vacancy with the Nevada Wolfpack.
Early possible candidates for Texas football to replace DL coach Bo Davis
A report from Horns247 on Jan. 10 (paid content) mentions the ability of Davis to coach his son along the defensive line at LSU as a big factor in this move for the now-former Texas DL coach. It also sounds like LSU gave Davis a pay raise outside of what Texas was willing to throw at him.
Davis and Choate were both critical parts of the rapid development of this Texas defense to become a top unit in the Big 12 in the last couple of seasons. Davis helped to develop the two highest-graded defensive tackles in the Power Five this season, in redshirt senior T'vondre Sweat and junior Byron Murphy II.
Choate also helped to develop a formidable linebacker unit in the last couple of seasons, which included the rise of All-American senior Jaylan Ford.
Texas found a good replacement for Choate in the former Arizona Wildcats defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen. Sarkisian must now do the same to replace another key defensive coach in Davis.
Here are five early possible replacements for the Longhorns to consider to replace Davis as the next defensive line coach.
Randall Joyner, Ole Miss DL coach
Among the early realistic candidates to watch for Texas to target on the shortlist of potential defensive line coaching hires is the Ole Miss Rebels' third-year defensive line coach Randall Joyner. The former standout SMU Mustangs linebacker is a rising star in college football coaching circles.
Joyner has also learned from some of the best during his time as a defensive assistant in the 2010s. He served under longtime Ohio State Buckeyes defensive line coach as a defensive graduate assistant in 2016 and 2017.
In his last stop before taking the Ole Miss DL coach position in 2021, Joyner coached up the defensive line group that led the FBS in sacks per game (3.92) in 2019 during his time as SMU's DL coach.
Regarding recruiting prowess and player development along the defensive line, Joyner checks all the boxes for a rising star among defensive position coaches in the SEC. He's recruited elite talent along the defensive line in each of the last three classes for head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels.
That momentum Joyner found in high school recruiting along the defensive line in the last few cycles recently translated to success in the transfer portal too. Joyner has helped Ole Miss land highly-rated portal commitments during the December window from the former Texas A&M Aggies sophomore defensive lineman Walter Nolen and Florida Gators senior edge rusher Princely Umanmielen.
Ole Miss has also boasted top-half pass rushing units in the SEC in each of Joyner's three seasons in Oxford. Given the talent Joyner and the Rebels have amassed along the defensive line via high school recruiting and the portal, this group should be even better in the SEC in 2024.
Texas would be wise to at least kick the tires on the idea of hiring Joyner to replace Davis as the next DL coach on the 40.