Five players in the transfer portal that Texas should pursue

·5 min read

The transfer portal has been the source of many great players, and has even helped teams take the next step.

The Longhorns seem to be a few players away from taking that step to supplant themselves atop the Big 12, and to consistently beat the teams that they have no business losing to.

There are multiple areas of concern that have surfaced this season, starting with the offensive line who has been the worst unit on the team. They give up constant pressure, and are consistently pushed off the line of scrimmage regardless of pass or run protection.

The wide receiver position is also an area of concern, as even during the offseason, Steve Sarkisian expressed frustrations about dropped passes. As it currently stands, true freshman Xavier Worthy is the best and most consistent receiver, but outside of him the production from the position has been lackluster. Texas is trying to swing big in regards to receivers in the 2022 class, and are still in the mix for the best receiver in the nation in five-star Evan Stewart, but his recruitment is up in the air.

In terms of the defensive side of the ball, the linebacker play has been decent, but DeMarvion Overshown is NFL bound, and although Luke Brockermeyer is serviceable, there is likely a better option to go side-by-side with rising star Jaylan Ford. The defensive line unit been hasn’t been great either, but Texas has a handful of recruits coming in that may be able to fill some roles.

With that being said, Texas could lose several starters this offseason, or even if they don’t, there is likely some better options in the transfer portal currently.

Here are five players Steve Sarkisian’s staff should pursue from the transfer portal.

Kingsley Suamataia, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

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Kingsley Suamataia is currently the highest rated player in the transfer portal, as 247Sports assigns new ratings to players when they transfer. The former five-star is only a freshman, but has decided that his limited playing time at Oregon is not enough to keep him there. He only appeared in one game this season, which was against Stony Brook.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 317-pounds, he can play either of the tackle positions, or can move inside to guard. When it comes to the line, there is no lineman that is currently starting for Texas that has their spot solidified to the point that they can’t be replaced. Suamataia had Alabama in his final schools before committing to Oregon, which means he is familiar with Kyle Flood and Steve Sarkisian. He is currently projected to go to BYU, but Texas should absolutely take a flyer for him.

Kayden Lyles, Offensive Lineman, Wisconsin

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Again going to the well for an offensive lineman. Texas should and probably will take a flyer on any decent offensive lineman that enters their name into the portal.

While at Wisconsin, senior Kaden Lyles played both center and left guard and appeared in 34 games. He offers experience, and someone who can play multiple positions across the line. The Longhorns could use someone with this experience and skill level to join the unit. He has one more year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

Navonteque Strong, Linebacker, LSU

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Texas will need some experience and athleticism to replace Overshown, and to compliment Jaylan Ford who has been stellar in limited action this season. They took a transfer out of Baton Rouge before in Ray Thornton, and might have another viable option from Louisiana to add.

Navonteque “Bugg” Strong is the former No. 1 junior college linebacker, and has played in every game for LSU where has accumulated 17 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one pass breakup this season. Having someone as productive as him would be huge for Texas, as he has shown the ability to get to the quarterback and finish plays off. He racked up 13.5 sacks at the junior college level, and is certainly someone the Longhorns could use to sure up their defense. He is also only a sophomore, so Texas would have him for at least two more years.

Simi Moala, Offensive Lineman, Utah

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Back to the offensive line again for this one, as the more help the better when it comes to this group.

Even if the Longhorns do not get the other two lineman on this list, if they are able to grab Simi Moala that would be huge in itself. He is a sophomore who has plenty of game experience, as he has started 18 career games for Utah. He can play tackle, which has been very inconsistent for Texas this year in terms of blocking for the pass and run. He only held six offers out of high school, but is someone who now has college experience and could be a beneficial piece for Texas.

Devin Chandler, Wide Receiver, Wisconsin

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It is no secret that outside of Xavier Worthy and maybe Jordan Whittington when he is healthy, that the Longhorns are thin at receiver. They are recruiting this position as hard as any for the 2022 class, and have already hit on Brenen Thompson.

This one may be a stretch due to the lack of chances he has gotten, but that is exactly the reason he is transferring. Devin Chandler, a former three-star prospect, is seeking more chances on offense than what he has gotten at Wisconsin. It is hard to excel in one of the worst passing offenses in the nation, as the Badgers average 146 passing yards per game. Their leading receiver has 241 yards receiving on the season, which is less than the injured Whittington, and barely more than running back Bijan Robinson.

Chandler is just a redshirt freshman, and has primarily been used as a returner, as he has no catches on the season, but playing in Sarkisian’s offense would likely give the dynamic athlete more chances to produce. Last season, he was also used on a run play, which means Sarkisian would be able to use him jet sweeps, and all sorts of manners. This would be more likely if the Longhorns miss out on the receivers they want from the high school level.

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