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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Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football / Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA

Sydir Mitchell, DL

Arguably the most important player to watch for the Longhorns in winter workouts this offseason on the defensive side of the ball is rising sophomore defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell. The gigantic 6-foot-6 and 335-pound defensive tackle had high expectations as a potential early contributor when he arrived on campus last offseason.

But Mitchell got off to a pretty slow start last year, during the adjustment period to college life when he was an early enrollee. Things did start to pick up for late in spring camp and into preseason camp last year.

Mitchell must continue to show that momentum is trending in his favor early this offseason during winter workouts and spring camp. Inside Texas reported that Mitchell is expected to see an uptick in live-game snaps at defensive tackle in 2024 if he continues on this upward trajectory in the S&C program and on the practice field this offseason.

There is a chance for Mitchell to become a key part of the defensive line rotation in the SEC this upcoming season if he continues to get in shape and get his body right in workouts. It won't be an easy path forward, but there is ample opportunity for more playing time and potentially a path to earning a spot on the two-deep later this year if Mitchell proves himself on and off the practice field.

Texas loses its top two defensive tackles from last year's squad. And it lost another key contributor at defensive tackle with proven experience when super senior Trill Carter transferred to the Auburn Tigers early this offseason.

Losing those three means younger Texas defensive linemen such as Mitchell, redshirt sophomore Aaron Bryant, and redshirt sophomore Jaray Bledsoe must step up to become key contributors along the front seven.

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