These Texas football players have the most to prove in winter workouts

The winter strength and conditioning program gets underway on Jan. 22 for the Texas football program and S&C coach Torre Becton. Who can emerge as the leaders for the Longhorns in the next few weeks with many new faces on campus for the start of winter S&C?
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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This week, Texas football begins the winter strength and conditioning program. Texas began classes last week for the spring semester and all the new enrollees with the program arrived on campus for move-in day a couple of weekends ago.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns welcomed nearly two dozen new enrollees among portal additions and high school recruits who signed early in the 2024 class for the start of classes on campus last week. Texas could also have more additions in the mix from the portal before the deadline on Jan. 30.

Key Texas football players to watch in winter workouts in 2024

The former Arizona Wildcats junior transfer defensive lineman Tiaoalii Savea and Washington Huskies senior cornerback Jabbar Muhammad are two portal targets that have visited Texas in the last week. Texas is still very much in the mix for both transfers and announcements from each could be coming in the next seven or 10 days.

For the Texas players currently on campus and enrolled for the spring semester, the start of winter workouts occupies much of their attention this week. Per TFB Texas, the Longhorns will begin each day of the winter S&C program with workouts at DKR early in the morning.

Here are four Longhorns players with the most to prove during the winter strength and conditioning program this offseason.

Jaylon Guilbeau, DB

This is a critical offseason for rising junior defensive back Jaylon Guilbeau to finally make that leap we've been waiting for from him for the last couple of years. Guilbeau has always had the talent and the ability to be an impact starter at defensive back for the Longhorns.

But a handful of injury issues have limited Guilbeau's progress on the field and in practice in his first two years on campus at Texas.

When healthy, Guilbeau has shown flashes as a quality defensive back who has the versatility to play corner or nickel in Texas's secondary. Texas's staff clearly trusts him to take significant reps as a key contributor on the two-deep at nickel when he's been healthy in the last two seasons.

In the second half of the 2023 season, Guilbeau ranked among the three-highest-graded Texas defensive backs in coverage among the 10 players who took the most reps in the secondary. He was also a consistent contributor as a true freshman for the Longhorns before a knee injury ended his season early in 2022.

Nickel will be a tough position to get reps at in camp this offseason. The return of senior defensive back Jahdae Barron for a fifth season at Texas means that guys like Barron and fellow junior DB Austin Jordan are battling for the backup job at nickel entering the spring.

The time is now for Guilbeau to step up and show he can be a steady and active contributor on the two-deep for Texas at nickel.