The eighth Texas football player to announce their intention to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal was redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy. On Dec. 13, it was reported by ESPN's Pete Thamel that Murphy intended to enter the transfer portal.
Murphy won't be playing in the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA, against the No. 2 Washington Huskies on Jan. 1. That means head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns will be without their backup quarterback this season in the College Football Playoff due to the weird timing of the transfer portal window rules.
Which Texas football could enter the portal after QB Maalik Murphy?
Murphy having to enter the transfer portal before the season concludes for the Longhorns is a great example of a big flaw with the timing of the December window and the Early Signing Period. He didn't want to have to enter the transfer portal before the postseason concluded.
""I hate it, I hate it," Murphy told ESPN. "I'm super invested in this team. Everything that we've done along the way and all the work we've put in together, it's hard to walk away, especially at this point during the season.""
But was forced to choose whether he wanted to prioritize his career over preparing for the College Football Playoff with the Longhorns this postseason. Since the Early Signing Period forces many of these portal players to take visits and make their decisions before college football's offseason officially arrives, Murphy didn't have the time to do both.
We'll see if these types of conflicts with the timing of the transfer portal/signing day and the college football postseason causes any change to the calendar rules in the future. For now, though, Texas must turn to true freshman Arch Manning as the backup quarterback for the semifinal game on New Year's Day.
It will also be interesting to see if any other Longhorns players get put in a similar bind to Murphy. With Sark and the Longhorns set to resume bowl practice late this week, many players who are considering entering the portal next offseason have a decision to make.
Here's a prediction of the next Longhorns player to enter the transfer portal after Murphy announced his intentions to transfer on Dec. 13.
Max Merril, OL
Offensive line is one position group for the Longhorns that hasn't suffered any losses to the transfer portal so far during the December window. This is largely because offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood has done a nice job building out a young pipeline of talent in the trenches that has multiple players ready to make an impact while still getting to develop early in their careers on the 40.
Yet, there are a couple of offensive linemen deeper down the depth chart for the Longhorns who have gotten lost in the shuffle amid Flood's solid recruiting efforts in the trenches in the last few cycles.
One example of a Texas offensive lineman who hasn't gotten any live-game reps due to being recruited over with more talented players in the last couple of years is redshirt sophomore interior offensive lineman Max Merril.
Merril was a Tom Herman-era recruit who signed with the Longhorns in the 2021 class. He was a late-cycle addition to help add depth along the offensive line in Texas's 2021 class by then UT offensive line coach Herb Hand.
The combination of Merril not getting any live-game reps in his three seasons at Texas and the fact that he wasn't recruited by the current staff are two viable reasons why he could look for better opportunities elsewhere in the transfer portal heading into this offseason.