These Texas football leaders must emerge in winter workouts

A new era of the Texas football program begins in the SEC in 2024 with the beginning of winter workouts early this offseason.

Derek Williams, Terrance Brooks, Texas football
Derek Williams, Terrance Brooks, Texas football / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Alfred Collins, Texas football
Alfred Collins, Texas football / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Alfred Collins, DL

Another key returning player for the Longhorns on defense in 2024 is fifth-year senior defensive lineman Alfred Collins. It was a big break for the Longhorns to get Collins back for a fifth season to give this defensive line a top-notch talent with multiple years of Power Five experience at Texas, including over a dozen starts in the last three seasons.

Collins' development in the last couple of offseasons is a huge factor in him being expected to emerge as the top starter along the defensive line for the Longhorns in 2024. He and fellow senior interior defensive lineman Vernon Broughton are expected to be the next in line to breakout at defensive tackle for Texas in the SEC this upcoming season.

After a few years of inconsistent results on the field and in camp from Collins, he has started to develop and get closer to reaching his immense talent ceiling here in the last couple of years. Collins really started to put it all together on the field last season when he graded out as one of the five best defensive tackles in the Big 12.

And two of those five-highest-graded defensive tackles in the Big 12 last season were Longhorns, Byron Murphy II and T'Vondre Sweat.

Something that can't be overlooked is the importance of senior leadership emerging at defensive tackle in the midst of the search to replace DL coach Bo Davis, who left to take the same role with the LSU Tigers earlier this month.

Having veteran voices in the locker room at defensive tackle while Texas is without a defensive line coach, and also added a new co-DC this offseason, is critical for the stability and development of the younger defensive tackles in the program.