J'Mond Tapp, EDGE
Among the positions the Longhorns are prioritizing in the portal on defense heading into the offseason is edge rusher. While Texas is expected to return its two starting edge rushers from this season in 2024, junior Barryn Sorrell and sophomore Ethan Burke, this is still a position of focus for co-DC Pete Kwiatkowski and the defensive staff heading into 2024.
It's also noteworthy that Texas has an immediate impact edge rusher arriving on campus next spring via the 2024 recruiting class in the elite five-star Duncanville product Colin Simmons.
Texas prioritizing adding an impact edge rusher via the transfer portal, along with the return of Sorrell, Burke, and sophomore Justice Finkley, could spell trouble for other Texas players at the position who are further down the depth chart on the current roster. That's not to mention the additions of key blue-chip recruits in the 2024 class after signing day next spring with guys like Simmons and Allen four-star Zina Umeozulu.
All this talent and depth at the EDGE position the Longhorns are getting on campus in 2024 will make it difficult for the likes of sophomore J'Mond Tapp, true freshman Billy Walton, etc., to see the field with significant live-game reps on defense anytime soon.
Tapp is probably the edge rusher that is the most important one to focus on in this scenario of considering how could enter the portal this offseason to find more playing time elsewhere. Tapp was a highly touted blue-chip recruit from Louisiana who signed with Texas in the 2022 class.
He had high expectations as a top-notch athlete with a lot of explosiveness and natural bend coming off the edge. But Tapp hasn't developed at the rate expected from him in his first couple of years in college.
Tapp definitely has the talent to be an impact player and high-level pass rusher coming off the edge on the defensive two-deep for the Longhorns. But he hasn't flashed much in live-game situations or in practice, despite getting over 120 defensive snaps in the last two seasons at Texas.
If Texas does add an impact edge rusher via the transfer portal, such as the 2023 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt sophomore UTSA Roadrunners edge rusher Trey Moore, that could show the writing on the wall that the path to playing time next year for Tapp will be very challenging. Moore visited Texas last weekend and has the Longhorns among the top schools in his portal recruitment.