Welcome back to this week’s Texas Longhorns newcomer report. It’s a new year, and that means there are new faces across the Longhorns’ roster. But like last year, think of this as less a report than it is a quick rundown of how Texas’ 2023 freshman class and his talented pool of NCAA Transfer Portal adds faired in their latest showing this college football season.
Short and sweet, in other words.
This week, we’re reviewing the newcomers versus the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Arch Manning, QB: He did it. The former five-star recruit out of New Orleans, Louisiana – and the latest heir to the Manning family’s pigskin throne – finally saw playing time in burnt orange. Manning threw 2-for-5 for 30 yards and rushed three times for 7 additional yards.
CJ Baxter, RB: Baxter, a native of Orlando, Florida, was one of the Longhorns’ top recruits in the 2023 class. In his most recent outing – Baxter’s first as the bell-cow starter after Jonoathon Brooks’ injury – the true freshman recorded 9 rushes for 45 yards. He also grabbed a long reception for 8 yards. Baxter has earned himself notable usage for most of the regular season alongside breakout Brooks, a redshirt sophomore that went down with a season-ending ACL injury. Baxter will continue leading Texas’ backfield into the postseason.
Tre Wisner, RB: The true freshman running back carried the ball seven times for 60 yards and a touchdown, and he also made 3 tackles. Wisner seems to be coming alive in the last stretch of the 2023 college football season.
Johntay Cook, WR: Cook secured 1 reception for 17 yards.
Deandre Moore, WR: The true freshman wide receiver saw minimal playing time.
Adonai Mitchell, WR: The junior wide receiver transfer, who joined Texas after two seasons and back-to-back national championships with the SEC’s Georgia Bulldogs, recorded 2 receptions for 30 yards. As he lifts off and torches Big 12 secondaries, Mitchell has been one Texas’ most impactful targets throughout the Longhorns’ 2023 college football season.
Anthony Hill, LB: It’s beginning to go without saying that Hill’s latest performance was stellar. He was one of the top recruits at his position nationally, and his tenure at Texas is already paying off big for the Longhorns’ defense in one of the biggest games of the 2023 college football season. This past week, Hill recorded 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 sack. The 2023 On3 “Midseason True Freshman All-American Team” continues showing out as an NCAA rookie. The only direction is up – and to the SEC – for the freshman linebacker.
Liona Lefau, LB: Texas’ true freshman linebacker recorded 1 tackle.
Malik Muhammad, CB: The true freshman cornerback, coming to Austin straight from his native Dallas area, started over the weekend at boundary corner, where he had 2 tackles.
Derek Williams, S: The true freshman safety recorded 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 interception. As the 2023 regular season has worn on, Williams has made an increasingly louder statement alongside a stout Texas defense. Barring disaster – and the unavoidable toll of the NCAA transfer portal – expect the Texas secondary to be in good hands for the foreseeable future.
Jelani McDonald, S: As for Texas’ other notable true freshman safety, McDonald received a tiny portion of playing time this past week.
Warren Roberson, S: The true freshman safety saw his first playing time of the year.
Ryan Sanborn, P: A fifth-year senior who transferred to Texas from the Stanford Cardinal program, where he was a two-time captain, Sanborn recorded 2 punts for 72 yards, with 47 yards as his long on the afternoon. Sanborn’s average on the day was about 36 yards.