Texas Football: Zona transfer DL Tiaoalii Savea visiting UT

The portal visitors keep rolling in for Texas football this week. Former Arizona defensive tackle Tiaoalii Savea announced on social media that he is taking an official visit to Texas this weekend.
Tiaoalii Savea
Tiaoalii Savea / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Amid the Junior Day festivities at Texas football this weekend, the staff is also hosting a new NCAA Transfer Portal target for a visit on campus. Former Arizona Wildcats junior defensive lineman Tiaoalii Savea announced on his Twitter/X account on Jan. 20 that he is officially visiting Texas this weekend.

There is a connection between Savea and new Texas LB coach/co-DC Johnny Nansen from their time at Arizona together. Nansen was Savea's defensive coordinator at Arizona for the last couple of years before he was hired to replace Jeff Choate on Texas's staff after he left to take the head coaching job at Nevada a couple of months ago.

Texas football hosting former Arizona DL Tiaoalii Savea for an official visit

The 6-foot-4 and 295-pound Savea is a potential option for Texas to add depth along the defensive line. Defensive tackle is the most notable position of need in the transfer portal for the Longhorns at this point of the offseason.

Defensive line coach Bo Davis left Texas to take the same job under head coach Brian Kelly with the LSU Tigers earlier this month. Texas still has yet to announce its hire to replace Davis as the next defensive line coach.

Texas has lost numbers at defensive tackle early this offseason

After Davis's departure, the Longhorns lost a key signee at defensive tackle from the 2024 recruiting class, Orlando (FL) Jones four-star D'antre Robinson. Texas also lost its top two defensive tackles to the NFL Draft, and another experienced defensive lineman (senior Trill Carter) to the transfer portal.

Savea could add proven depth to help replenish Texas's DL room

Savea was a consistent contributor along Arizona's defensive line in 2023. He registered a half-dozen tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and double-digit quarterback pressures, over 353 defensive snaps and three starts for the Wildcats this past season.

Savea really showed out in some important games down the stretch for Arizona last season, including in the Alamo Bowl comeback win over the Oklahoma Sooners where he registered three defensive stops and a couple of quarterback pressures.

In the final three weeks (including the postseason) of the 2023 campaign, Savea was the highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the PAC-12.

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