Texas Football: Predicting UT's next portal commit after Amari Niblack

Defensive tackle and defensive back highlight the top positional needs for Texas football after adding another impact transfer on offense earlier this week, former Alabama sophomore tight end Amari Niblack.
Jabbar Muhammad
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De'Braylon Carroll, J'Mar Smith
De'Braylon Carroll / Bob Levey/GettyImages

De'Braylon Carroll, DL

Another potential option for the Longhorns to look at among the defensive tackles currently available in the portal is the former Rice Owls grad transfer and redshirt junior De'Braylon Carroll. There is a connection between Carroll and some of the players on the Longhorns roster, since he attended Duncanville High School in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex.

Texas has a heavy South Dallas presence in the locker room, so Carroll would be a fit from that perspective. Like Moi, there has been no confirmed communication between Texas and Carroll since he entered the portal earlier this week.

The 6-foot and 290-pound defensive tackle Carroll is currently rated as the second-best available defensive lineman in the portal, according to On3. Carroll stepped up as a first-year starting defensive tackle at Rice last fall as a Phil Steele Third-Team All-AAC selection.

He played a key role for one of the most improved defensive units in the FBS year-over-year in 2023. For a top-half-ranked run defense in the AAC for the Owls in 2023, Carroll was the highest-graded interior run defender.

Carroll was also a disruptive force around the line of scrimmage and in the pass rush for the Owls last season. He led the Owls in tackles for loss (nine), quarterback pressures (31), and sacks (five) in 2023.

I say all this to say that Carroll was formidable against multiple different levels of competition at Rice last fall. This wasn't the same Rice team that was a cake walk in the Group of Five for the last decade or so in 2023. Rice actually gave the Longhorns a tougher game than many anticipated in the 2023 season opener at DKR.

Carroll made a big impact on that game for the Owls against the Longhorns as he registered a team-high three quarterback pressures, three defensive stops, and 1.5 sacks.

The biggest hold up to the Longhorns possibly targeting a G5 defensive tackle transfer like Carroll is his size. Carroll's 290-pound weight can still pack a punch consistently playing in the American Athletic Conference. But it would be more difficult to compete consistently in the trenches in the SEC as an interior defensive lineman under 300 pounds.

There is an argument that Carroll could compete in the SEC since he held his own as one of Rice's top defenders against two Power Five opponents, including Texas, last season. Texas could also add some weight to his frame if he hypothetically committed to the Longhorns in the portal once he was in an SEC strength and conditioning program.