Texas Football: 5 portal targets on UT's Christmas wish list

Evan Stewart
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Cam'Ron McCoy, Jaden Voisin
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Jaden Voisin, S

Texas added many instant impact defensive backs between high school and portal recruiting in the 2024 signing class. Five-star McKinney (TX) safety Xavier Filsaime, four-star Waco (TX) Connally cornerback Kobe Black, and Mukuba are three great examples of talented and impactful defensive backs the Longhorns have signed in the 2024 class who will impact the secondary as early enrollees in spring ball.

What Texas could be lacking in the secondary next offseason is an abundance of experienced and proven safeties on the two-deep depth chart. Senior safety Jerrin Thompson does have one year of eligibility remaining if he decides to use the COVID-19 redshirt. But Thompson hasn't made a decision for the NFL Draft yet.

Fellow senior safety Kitan Crawford also isn't expected to return to Texas for a fifth year.

If Thompson decides not to return for another season at Texas, the Longhorns will only be left with two safeties with meaningful reps in the Power Five for spring ball. Those two safeties are freshman Derek Williams Jr. and redshirt sophomore Michael Taaffe.

Since Texas liked to rotate at safety this season, it could make sense to get a proven player from the portal to shore up the depth at the position heading into the offseason. The top-rated safety in the portal who could add proven experience and depth for the Longhorns in 2024 is the former South Alabama Jaguars redshirt junior DB Jaden Voisin.

The fifth-year safety and second-year starter at South Alabama was stellar in that secondary this fall. Voisin was a rock for the Jaguar secondary playing downhill in run defense and in pass coverage. He led all C-USA safeties in defensive grade and was the highest-graded G5 coverage safety this season.

At 6-foot and 205-pounds, Voisin has the size, range, and physicality to hold his own in coverage and lining up in the box in run defense in the Power Five.

An impact defensive tackle with P5 proven experience

The biggest position of need for the Longhorns to address in the transfer portal after the Early Signing Period is defensive tackle. Texas is expected to lose multiple stars along the defensive line to the NFL Draft next spring, namely junior Byron Murphy II and senior T'Vondre Sweat.

Texas also has the possibility of losing senior defensive lineman Alfred Collins, who has a looming NFL Draft decision after this season.

If Texas does lose all three of Murphy, Sweat, and Collins along the defensive line next offseason, that would leave the Longhorns' interior defensive line rotation with limited experience regarding returning players in 2024.

Defensive line coach Bo Davis and the Longhorns have been excellent at consistently developing top end talent and production at defensive tackle in the last few years. But it would help to shore up the depth along the defensive line to be more certain they can consistently compete at a high level in the trenches in the SEC in 2024.

Texas added a proven player at defensive tackle via the portal last spring in Minnesota grad transfer Trill Carter, who is expected to step up as a more impactful player in the trenches next fall.

I'd expect the Texas defensive staff to continue to be diligent with their defensive line evaluations in the portal for the rest of the December/January transfer window. They won't take just anyone along the defensive line in the portal. But if the right player pops up in the next couple of weeks, Texas won't hesitate to move to get them in this transfer class before spring ball begins.

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