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Tracking the new graduate transfer OL on the Texas radar

Position coach Herb Hand continues to evaluate a handful of names on the market.

Rutgers v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Though former Virginia Cavaliers offensive guard RJ Proctor looms at the top graduate transfer target for Texas Longhorns co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Herb Hand, there are other graduate transfer offensive linemen on the Longhorns radar.

Here’s the full list of the current candidates to come to Austin to compete for the three starting spots made available by the graduations of Calvin Anderson, Patrick Vahe, and Elijah Rodriguez.

Rutgers offensive lineman Jonah Jackson

A Pennsylvania native who spent the 2016 season playing under current Texas wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer when Mehringer was the offensive coordinator at Rutgers, Jackson started 11 games at right guard in 2018 as a redshirt junior. A team captain last season, he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches and media after five starts at center in 2017.

The fact that Jackson, a 6’4, 305-pounder, could serve as the back up at all three interior positions gives him a little bit of extra appeal for the Longhorns.

So far, Jackson has already set up a visit to Ohio State:

South Alabama offensive lineman Ryan Alexander

A New York native, Alexander broke into the starting lineup for the Jaguars as a redshirt freshman at left tackle in 2016, then moved to the right side, where he started the last two seasons. In 2018, Alexander led the team with 46 knockdown blocks and graded out at 84 percent

Alexander currently holds offers from Charlotte, Liberty, Rutgers, Syracuse, SMU, and Tulane.

At 6’3 and 300 pounds, Alexander projects as a likely interior lineman if he makes the jump to the Power Five level, but it does appear that the Orange are recruiting him as an offensive tackle. He plans to visit Syracuse this spring in addition to an official visit to Rutgers.

Georgia Tech offensive guard Parker Braun

Braun is one of the top graduate transfer offensive linemen on the market after entering the starting lineup for the Yellow Jackets as a freshman and never relinquishing that role. As a junior in 2018, Braun earned all-ACC first-team honors, prompting the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to call him one of the team’s best players and one of the best linemen in the Paul Johnson era.

Known for his motor, agility, and power, Braun doesn’t have a lot of experience in pass protection after playing in Johnson’s Flexbone offense, so that’s a potential concern, but it likely won’t stop Braun from receiving interest from top programs across the country.

Braun went to high school in Hallsville, so he has some ties to the state, but also lived in Florida growing up, so all three major programs in the state could have a strong shot of landing him if they show interest.

Tennessee offensive tackle Drew Richmond

A former consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 3 offensive tackle in the 2015 recruiting class, Richmond has had a relatively disappointing career, as he never became the dominant force anticipated when he signed with the Volunteers. Still, Richmond had a solid junior season, but the question is whether he would fill the most significant needs for the Horns, which seem to be on the inside. There’s also not a lot of information available at this time about the schools he has interest in visiting or whether he’s even going to leave the Volunteers program after entering the NCAA transfer portal.

With three scholarships available and three players currently in the transfer portal, the Horns have the room to take at least one graduate transfer offensive lineman. Judging by the fact that Hand has evaluated so many, Texas is clearly interested in adding a player who presents the right fit.

At the moment, Proctor is the only graduate transfer offensive lineman with public plans to visit Austin, but don’t be surprised if that changes in the near future and it’s a visit from a player on this list.