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Texas OL Denzel Okafor removes name from NCAA transfer portal

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The decision by Okafor represents a significant recruiting win for the Longhorns coaching staff.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 22 TCU at Texas Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the most experienced offensive linemen on the Texas Longhorns roster will remain on the Forty Acres for his final season, as senior Denzel Okafor has removed his name from the NCAA transfer portal, according to Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods.

Horns247 and Inside Texas confirmed the report.

Okafor entered the transfer portal in late March with the intention to become a graduate transfer, but as a projected starter at right tackle in 2020 who has appeared in 39 games and started five in his career, he’s a key piece of Herb Hand’s position group.

So it’s not a surprise that head coach Tom Herman and his staff talked Okafor out of leaving. In that regard, it’s one of the more important recruiting jobs that Texas will undertake this spring with limited experience beyond Okafor and the three returning starters.

It’s a necessary reality in the college football world with the portal, too — expect one to two players per year to enter the portal and then remove their names as a result of the staff recruiting them back into the program.

That scenario already happened once earlier this year with linebacker Juwan Mitchell and it happened last year with quarterback Casey Thompson. Some players will enter the portal and leave the program with little if any effort from the coaching staff to get them to stay, but talented players at need positions will get recruited again by the staff.

While Okafor profiles more as a serviceable player rather than a potential All-Conference performer, the lack of proven depth along the offensive line is a concern that Herman raised in the absence of spring practice, and that increases Okafor’s value.